Protect The Escarpent
By: Roger Tumminieri
When I received the following email from Stacie and Justin Howe, owners of the Kimberley General Store and Justin’s Oven, respectively, I was equally moved and frustrated. How can we allow such development to threaten our cherished escarpment? What can be done to stop this? Will anybody listen?
When I stopped in to see Stacie at her shop in Kimberley, I had the privilege of meeting her husband, Justin, who owns the adjacent business, Justin’s Oven. We spoke for some time about the letter they wrote and what is currently being done to stop development on the Talisman Lands. I agreed to help draw attention to this in my own little way by publishing their letter here.
It’s my hope that after reading this you, too, will be moved to act in order to help stop development on the Talisman Lands. You may also want to purchase a T-Shirt (worn by Justin and Stacie in the above photo) to show your support for this cause.
SUBJECT: Local businesses, Beaver Valley tourism, and the Talisman subdivisions
As a fellow business owner, you may be aware that Grey County has hired a consultant to develop a Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Beaver Valley in 2023 and they will be reaching out to local businesses to get our feedback. They’ll be asking us what kind of tourism strategy can support small businesses in and around the Valley.
Like us, you have probably experienced a huge change in the valley in the last decade, especially since Covid began. As a community, we really are on the front lines of managing the massive influx of tourism and we personally completely agree with Grey County that the tourism economy is an untapped asset. Those of us in business have hundreds of conversations with people coming to the valley, and from our point of view here in Kimberley, we see them coming for the spectacular natural beauty, the farm to table culinary experiences, and the varied outdoor activities.
At the same time, you may be aware of the proposed subdivisions on the upper and lower Talisman parcels. We have deep concerns about the impact of this development. When we first opened the General Store in 2010, the Talisman Resort was still in operation. After it closed in March of 2011, the village became very quiet, and we certainly understand why the Municipality of Grey Highlands wants to revitalize the resort. We also see huge tourism potential on the current developed footprint. However, here in the village of Kimberley, we believe that a massive residential subdivision outside of that middle property would have extreme negative impacts on our local tourism economy and could even put our Biosphere designation in jeopardy.
We don’t believe that tourists want to stand at the top of Old Baldy and look at a subdivision on the other side of the valley. And that’s only one problem with the proposed development. I’ve attached a letter written by the Protect Talisman Lands Association (PTLA) that outlines some of the other issues. They’ll be sending this letter to the developer, signed by PTLA, with the support of a number of community groups and businesses. It is not intended to be public but could be copied to Council members.
Do these issues resonate with you? I am happy to discuss with you in person, whether you welcome the development or not. It’s important to me to understand the viewpoints of community businesses on this issue.
If you feel like you understand the issues already, and you’d simply like to sign, please let me know and we can include you as a supporter, along with the title you would like beside your name.
Stacie and Justin Howe
How to Get the Most Out of Your TFSA
By: Adriana Hari, Moya Financial
Plenty of Canadian investors take advantage of the benefits of a Tax-Free Savings Account, but some manage to do so a little bit better than most of the others.
Since 2009, Canadian residents aged 18 and older have been able to earn tax-free income on a fixed annual amount through Tax-Free Savings Accounts, better known as TFSAs. Unlike most other investments, there’s no tax at all when you earn any kind of income on your Tax-Free Savings Accounts, nor is there any tax when you withdraw your funds. With TFSAs, you get to keep it all.
The more efficiently you use TFSAs, the better you’ll be able to take advantage of that rare opportunity to earn tax-free income on a slice of your investments.
Maximize your contributions…
For the past few years, the maximum annual contribution to a TFSA has been $6,000, and the same applies in 2023. Various yearly maximums ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 have applied in different years since Tax-Free Savings Accounts were introduced in 2009.
If you’ve ever missed reaching the maximum contribution in any year since 2009, you can still use any or all of that remaining contribution space whenever you want, which is great if you start earning more money and want to catch up on unused space.
If you happen to withdraw money from your TFSA in a certain year, you can repay any or all of that amount, too, but only in the year immediately following the withdrawal.
…but be careful not to over-contribute
The one thing you never want to do is exceed your TFSA contribution space, because you’ll be charged a one per cent monthly tax on the excess amount as long as it’s in there. Stay on top of any withdrawal amounts and remember to carry them forward to the following year. Check your online tax profile to track past annual contribution amounts and keep tabs on unused space, but remember that online records may not always be completely up to date.
Put that money to work
A TFSA isn’t just a place to stash some cash and leave it there to earn a small amount of interest. The best approach, presuming you’re willing to tolerate a bit of risk, is to invest the money in a mix of equities (stocks and bonds), mutual funds, and other financial products, because they’ll usually generate a superior rate of return than the basic cash rate. With a more robust investment strategy, your money earns more money. Plus, because it’s tax-free, you get to keep everything you earn.
Automate for increased efficiency
A good way to ensure you don’t forget to make TFSA contributions is to set up automatic monthly transfers into your tax-free account. Besides making sure you get the most from your annual contribution space, this approach is also helpful because it spreads your investment purchases out over the longer term, which is better than making a lump sum contribution at a time when market prices happen to be higher than normal.
Be in it for the long haul
Some people view their TFSA as a way to help reach short-term financial goals, and they’re flexible enough to make that a reality in certain situations. However, what’s most important with TFSAs is maximizing the long-term benefits of tax-free earning power, and doing that means building as big of an investment as you can, not taking money out to pay for a week at the beach. Emergency use is a different story, and a TFSA can certainly be part of your financial safety net in case of accident, illness, job loss, or something similar.
If you do take money out, remember that you can (and should) repay that amount the following calendar year. Paying back withdrawals is important, because it maximizes your income-generating power by giving you the biggest possible balance from which to earn tax-free income.
This article is not intended to provide financial or financial planning advice, please call or email Moya Financial and they will be more than happy to chat with you.
747 Brown’s Line,
Toronto ON M8W 3V7
Call: 416 255 1742
Plants Are My Soil Mates
By: Becky Bouwmeester
I used to work with a colleague who was a fountain of information on all things green & leafy. As comes with that kind of sheer ingenious and mastery, he also operated with a rather condescending demeanour, albeit occasionally. And he had a very dry sense of humour. A rather deadly combination to a younger, learning, inexperienced and somewhat timid colleague. Let's call him "The Wise One", or "TWO" for short.
When clients came into the nursery where we worked, I would always be excited to show them a new cultivar of plant we had received from the grower. We would receive some of the most majestic and amazing plants, shipped in from the likes of British Columbia, the warmer states of the U.S., or on a couple occasions, Europe. In my enthusiastic manner, I would prattle on about how stunning a specimen it would be in a garden. I would relish in its exceptional branching structure, or its flower colour, or maybe even its impressive price tag. Surely a must have item for a well distinguished household garden! I would do my best to convince them that this plant would most certainly be the pièce de résistance of the neighbourhood, practically the city... regardless of the steep price tag.
Just before loading it in the client's truck, excited at the possibility of wowing the nursery owners with my wisdom, competencies and exceptional sales service, the fundamental questions would come:
"So, how big does it really get? It says 150 cm here...is that in best growing conditions only? How hardy is it? Is it really zone 6, or could you push it to zone 5a?"
"Ummmm hold on, let me check the catalogue...umm..." This is where the panic starts to set in as I realize I may be in over my head with my overzealous sales pitch. Quickly flipping through my catalogue , I was startled to realize that we didn't have much information in our catalogue inventory about this particular plant. It was a brand new cultivar, which meant it could get bigger, or wider then stated. Which meant I was going with next to no concrete information. Ultimately, I knew nothing beyond what was in front of us.
I decided to call in "TWO" at our wholesale nursery... silently admitting defeat in not being able to awe the client with my wealth of horticulture knowledge & prowess.
"Becky to TWO...can I ask you a question...?" My sheepish tone was entirely apparent for all those working with a radio at the nursery to hear, which just happened to be... EVERYONE!
His rather annoyed "Go for TWO..." response to being interrupted by the overzealous and chatty sales rep. (See:me) did nothing to settle my nerves. I stammered out my request for additional information on this particular plant. But his seemingly exasperated tone for my unsolicited request for help did not inspire much self-confidence.
"Well, first of all, plants and trees don't read books...so ultimately they may become larger or wider than noted. Where is it being planted? What's the soil like? What zone? What's the wind exposure?"
You get the drift that clearly I did not set myself up for success. I had failed to ask the right questions of my client.
"Where would it be planted in? What environmental elements might it be up against? What are the soil conditions? etc." You get the drift. Nursery life lesson number one.
I realized then that I needed to do my homework first to help TWO help me. He was right. I hadn't asked the right questions in the first place.
From that day on I made sure that I would ask the right questions before asking for additional help. Knowledge and confidence in my plant choices has come with years of being in the industry, but it all started with asking the right questions. Whether working in a garden centre or introducing a new exciting plant into a clients landscape design, I still ask myself the same questions:
Location, Location, Location! Where is the plant going? How much sun, shade, summer or winter wind might it receive?
Hit the Dirt! What are the soil conditions? Sandy? Clay? Dry? Standing water? Rocky? Root dense? Close to areas that receive salt?
Houston, we may have a problem: What are outside elements that may hamper its establishment? Animals such as deer or rabbits? Pets or livestock? More aggressive surrounding plantings? Do you have children or pets that may trample, ingest or hurt themselves on any of the plant's elements?
Extra Extra! What are some important things YOU want? Flower colour?
Low maintenance? A native plant? Attractive to pollinators? Edible?BONUS! Garden centre horticulturists employees will ADORE you if you can bring pictures of the area you're looking at developing with flora. Extra points if you take pictures from numerous angles, showing garden bed widths, size and distance scale while showing off different times of the day for sun exposures.
All of these are important elements to consider when looking at purchasing a new perennial, shrub or tree. Our local nurseries and garden centres in Grey-Bruce and surrounding areas are a wealth of new and exciting plant material, employed with knowledgeable individuals passionate about what they do and the products that they sell. Any professional and honest horticulturist will not try to sell you on something that may not fit into the description you should be able to give them when they ask, "Where's it going?"
So arm yourself with the right answers to their questions so they can help you make the right choice. They want to see you succeed! They're just as excited that you're investing in your property as they are to help you find your right plant fit.
Plant Feature: Latin: Helleborus Common Name: Lenten or Christmas Rose
It figures that my first feature would be one of my favourite plants ever! Okay, one of my hundreds of favourites but still...This somewhat unknown evergreen perennial prefers a front of a border place in the garden with full shade to partial sun. Excellent along walkways or paths where its early-season blooms (Think February to June!) can be admired when most plants are soundly dormant. Different varieties of the hellebore plant offer different seasonal bloom times as well as white, black, yellow and pink flowers which are often fragrant and usually long lasting. They prefer average to moist well drained soils, and they do not like to be moved generally once settled. They are deer & rabbit resistant, require minimal maintenance beyond removal of any spent leaves and have a high disease resistance. They will grow in zone 4-9, and once established tend to be generally drought tolerant. Please note however that all parts of the plant are considered poisonous, so take care in planting areas with heavy child or pet access. The hellebore can mean hope as well, with its emergence from the ground in the dark winter days, reminding us that spring is on the way!
What’s New? Not Much.
By: John van Goch
CTV NEWS – “delays ‘frustrating’ amid reports that Metrolinx has ‘no idea’ when Eglinton Crosstown will open”.
The year 1861 announced the first streetcar in Toronto. When finished, the Crosstown will not be a NEW thing. It will be a new “OLD thing”. The Crosstown was started in 2011, 12 years ago. Could that time have been used to modernize OLD infrastructure for transit options that are actually NEW?
The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics is the first Canadian customer of Pipistrel. Pipistrel manufactures the Velis Electro, the earth’s first and currently only, in service, commercially available, electric passenger aircraft. This is a NEW alternative! It’s environmentally friendly. It’s quiet. It requires considerably less land than conventional aircraft to land or to takeoff. Indeed it could require no NEW land to operate. Normal aircraft functions could be done from many flat surfaces.
A recent suggestion was to tax private parking lots to help pay for public transit.
The TTC received almost 1 billion tax dollars in subsidies in 2022. Perhaps a NEW suggestion would be to allow transit riders to pay fully for their new “OLD things” and subsidize NEW things instead.
What’s new with you?
For The Love Of Adventure
By: Robert Iantorno
The specs read like a sportscar from a tangential 80s universe: Limited production. Fibreglass body. <0.30 Coefficient of Drag. 2.4L in-line 6 cylinder BMW turbocharged engine. 5 speed transaxle. VDO gauges.
Only unlike many sportscars, this thing has a toilet and looks like a big Nintendo.
Meet the Vixen 21TD (21 feet long, TurboDiesel). Built in 1987 in Pontiac Michigan by The Vixen Motor Company, and brainchild of DeLorean engineer Bill Collins, it was intended to answer the call for the sportscar of Recreational Vehicles - but did anyone ask for that? One example has been clocked at 108 mph.
Mine is number 326 of 587, a treasured 1987 model, and one of the best remaining examples of the breed. A few months ago, I flew down to Morro Bay, California to buy it from its owner - his fifth Vixen. It has been thoroughly updated with better suspension and steering geometry and a host of drivetrain modifications including lower first and second gears. It retains its original gel coat paint and vinyl graphics, and even has a solar panel and its original Heart Inverter - a military grade electrical device that provides smooth AC power to the cabin.
After a brief orientation, I set off across Route 66 for a 6 day, 2600 mile journey back to Grey County. Back home at Singhampton Mission Command, my wife Maria was keeping tabs on my journey and coordinating each night’s campground stay in advance. After years of zainy adventures, she has developed a real knack for itineraries and forward navigation.
I appreciated the excellent handling of the Vixen as I wound through the canyons in California and saw the Exhaust Gas Temperature Gauge rise on long highway climbs in the thin, hot air of Arizona. In New Mexico, I attended the Vixen Owners Association Annual Meeting in Tucumcari, and was delighted to meet such cool people, passionate about their Vixens. I learned about the many quirks of the marque, plus they gave me a cool hat - it was great.
In Texas, I sang the soundtrack to The Big Lebowski at the top of my lungs as I pulled into The Big Texan, home of the 72 ounce steak challenge. In Oklahoma, I stopped in at the Route 66 Museum and danced around the most amazing private motorcycle collection, including a barn find Indian “Four” and an original 1913 Pope 1000cc board track tracer that literally gave me goosebumps.
Driving through Rolla, Missouri, I sat down for an authentic US ARMY “high and tight” haircut from a barber named Chuck, and then ate a full rack of smoked ribs.
I didn’t do much in Illinois, really, except fill up and purchase a big jug of Lucas diesel fuel additive. Did I mention that the Vixen cruises easily at 85 mph and achieves over 30 mpg?
The whole trip I was working remotely on a combination of iPhone, AirPods and MacBook. I had to pull over for a few hours under a bridge in Indiana so that I could do some time sensitive magazine layouts and a client proposal. That was ok though because I got to eat several donuts and walk the prettiest rail town main street in a town called Fortville.
As I was importing the vehicle into Canada (which involved exporting from the US first), I had to make it to the Ambassador Bridge by nightfall on a given day. By the time I entered Michigan I was HAULIN’ for the border! Woooooooo!!!
...and that’s when I ran out of gas in Detroit. Stranded at the side of the road, I had just set up orange pylons when a state motorcycle officer came by and struck up a conversation. All conversations near the Vixen start the same way: “What the heck is that thing??”. The Vixen’s radness makes a lot of friends, which is highly useful on The Road.
In this case, I complimented the officer on his BMW motorcycle and State-issued moustache. He then pointed out the nearest gas station to carry diesel and radioed to services in the area not to worry about “the Big Space Van” at the side of the road. I walked across the freeway to a gas station, purchased a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (huge, terrible) a jerry can (that now stays in the vehicle), gassed up and got going. Lesson Learned: Drive by the trip meter, don’t trust the fuel gauge.
At the border, I had numerous customs officers circling the Vixen, shedding their steely protectionism in the wacky aura of radness as they giggled at it and snapped photos. Weirdness and friendliness can get one through daunting situations - it melts away personas, and people can’t help but act like themselves.
Soon I was home in sunny Grey. While troubleshooting a reverse light switch, the fine mechanics in Markdale named the Vixen “The Moon Bus”. It gets so much attention that I’ve learned to automatically “beep beep” the horn in acknowledgement of waves and thumbs up.
This winter, The Vixen is home for myself, Maria and our 3 dogs down here in Florida. It’s small, it’s different, and people love it.
It’s the ultimate conversation starter. We’ve made many friends, and The Vixen gets VIP treatment everywhere we go. It does answer a question that nobody asked, but maybe answers don’t need questions. I’m glad it exists.
20 Financial Resolutions to Make for 2023
By: Adriana Hari, Moya Financial
With another New Year, it’s time to think about what we’d like to achieve and accomplish in the months ahead.
It’s common to make resolutions related to personal goals, such as improved physical health, or learning a new skill. Somewhat less common, but certainly no less important, are resolutions related to financial goals, whether it’s greater security or diminished debt.
With rapid inflation and rising interest rates straining many people’s finances, the idea of resolving to get a better grip on spending and saving in the year ahead may sound appealing. If so, take a look through this list of 20 financial resolutions, and see whether you can put some of them into practice in 2023.
1) Set up automatic transfers to help build your savings – It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t want to save more of their own money. While this may seem challenging, there are ways to make it easier. One of the best is automatic deductions or transfers that put a portion of each paycheque into a high- interest savings account or TSFA. The idea is to set it and forget it: you don’t have to remember to make a regular transfer, and moving the money elsewhere helps control the temptation to spend it.
2) Establish an emergency fund – Financial experts commonly advise building an emergency reserve of cash, say three to six months of salary, to be used in case of job loss, health problems, or other unforeseen issues. While getting there may seem daunting at first, the most important part is getting started. From there, it’s about the discipline to keep contributing whenever you can until you reach your goal, even if it takes multiple years.
3) Save more for retirement – Do you make regular contributions to an RRSP? Doing so can help reduce your income tax burden, so it’s almost always a wise idea. Some people are fortunate to have employers who will match contributions to a pension plan, which is a great way to grow your nest egg. Get started as early as you can, so your money has more time to grow before your golden years.
4) Name your beneficiaries – If it’s been a while since you did this, take the time to make sure your money will go to the right people after you’re gone. If you’re recently married, or have had children since last doing this, you’re likely overdue for an update.
5) Change your spending habits to boost savings – Do you drive to work when taking public transit would be a cheaper option? Do you eat out often and spend more on food than is necessary? Perhaps you struggle to resist sales on designer fashions, or pricey vacations. Boost your savings by working to identify lower-cost alternatives to your spending vices.
6) Search out a side hustle – One of the best ways to save more money is to earn more money, and the best way to do that is by doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s selling handcrafted items through an online store or providing a unique service, there are endless options that can help increase your income.
7) Improve your credit score – Interest rates have been on the rise all year, making borrowing more expensive. If a history of bad credit has made it hard for you to borrow money at the best available rates, now’s the time to tackle your credit score. Automate bill payments to make sure they get paid on time and in full and try not to use too much of your available credit – a usage rate of around 30 to 35 per cent is best.
8) Create a personal budget – If you don’t already have one, a budget is the best way to track your spending and get a good handle on where your money goes. You’ll also be able to identify how much extra there is, if any, for saving or investing. List all your regular expenditures and add them up, then compare that total to your income to see what the difference is. Look for places to trim spending so you can boost your savings.
9) Set up a debt repayment plan – If you’ve got sizeable non-mortgage debt, such as credit card bills or a car loan, it can feel crippling and cause significant stress and anxiety. Give yourself a break by setting up a plan to tackle your debts and wipe them out. Several different methods exist – if your debts are large enough, you may want to consolidate them into one.
10) Make a list of your financial goals – Most of us have ideas in our mind about what we want to be able to do with our money. It could be a home renovation project, a family trip, or possibly a second property. Other goals are more modest, but no less important to the individual. The best way to achieve those goals, however, is to put them down in writing, which helps make them more concrete, and is a helpful first step towards making a plan that can turn financial dreams into reality.
11) Find a trusted financial advisor – You don’t have to be a multimillionaire to benefit from the advice of a financial advisor. Professional advice can be helpful to people from all income brackets. In some cases, you may not even require professional assistance, just the ear of a trusted friend, relative, or confidante who can be a sounding board for financial decisions.
12) Improve your financial literacy – The financial world is full of jargon and scenarios that can be confusing or intimidating for those who lack the appropriate understanding. Invest in yourself by committing to learn more about personal finance, whether it’s through books, online courses or articles, or whatever options are available. While you’re at it, learn what to be wary of when it comes to financial scams.
13) Schedule regular reviews of your investment portfolio – At least two or three times each year, and more often if you can manage, it’s wise to take a close look at your investments and make sure you’re happy with the mix. The more diversified your portfolio is, the better protected you are against market volatility.
14) Take care of estate planning – It may not be fun, but estate planning is essential for ensuring your financial wishes are respected should you die or otherwise become incapacitated. Make sure your loved ones are taken care of by having a professional prepare a legal will that indicates where you want your money to go after you’re gone.
15) Negotiate better deals – Most of us tend to accept whatever we’re told something costs, whether it’s for monthly cell phone service or an insurance policy. In truth, however, a little haggling can often produce a better price. If haggling isn’t an option, look around for deals and offers, such a group insurance coverage or pooled cell plans through an employer. They’re a great way to reduce your spending.
16) Give bank fees the boot – Bank fees eat into our savings and don’t always provide much in return. If your financial needs are basic and simple, there’s no reason not to shop around for a better offer from a no-fee or low-fee online bank or consider switching to a credit union.
17) Try a no-spend challenge – Whether you choose one day each week or try to go a whole month without splurging on unnecessary items, a no-spend challenge is a great way to cut down (or cut out) impulse purchases while keeping more of your own money. In a no-spend challenge, you make your own coffee and meals, don’t visit stores or shop online, and only put money towards essentials such as food, lodging, and utility bills.
18) Set up an education fund for your kids – Post-secondary education isn’t cheap, and you don’t want to be scrambling to pay for university tuition when your son or daughter is close to graduating from high school. Start early and take advantage of the Canada Education Savings Grant to give your budding scholar the financial boost they need.
19) Invest in something meaningful to you – Socially responsible investing, sometimes known as ethical investing, is a strategy that combines both financial and social components. Whether it’s environmental causes or helping to fight poverty, there are plenty of ways you can make your investments more meaningful to yourself, and others.
20) Give a little bit – Whether it’s during the season of giving, or at any time of year, putting some of your money towards a good cause can be extremely gratifying. You could set up a monthly contribution to a charity of your choice or give some cash to a friend or family member who could use it.
This article is not intended to provide financial or financial planning advice, please call or email Moya Financial and they will be more than happy to chat with you.
747 Brown’s Line,
Toronto ON M8W 3V7
Call: 416 255 1742
Can Money Buy Love
By: Jason Todoroff
They say “Money can’t buy you love.”
That may be true, but money can buy a really nice engagement ring. Is the engagement ring part of a contract, or is it a gift?
The answer to this question determines what happens if you give your bride-to-be an expensive engagement ring and then they break off the wedding. Does the recipient get to keep the ring or should it be returned to the donor?
Generally speaking, an engagement ring is considered a “conditional gift.” This means that if the person receiving the ring does not go through with the marriage then they have to give the ring back (Newell v. Allen 2012 ONSC). There are of course exceptions to this general rule, such as when the future wife offers to return the ring and the donor tells them that they can keep it. Telling the recipient that they can keep it transforms the ring from a “conditional gift” to an “absolute gift.” From that point forward the donor cannot demand its return. Nor can the donor demand return of the ring if it is they who break off the engagement (Illopoulos v. Gettas 1981 ONSC).
Beyonce sang, “…if you like it you shoulda put a ring on it.”
No offence to Beyonce, but you might want to think twice about that.
We're BIG on Service
By: Tyson Rier
At Huron Tractor “We’re BIG on Customer Service.” We want to make sure you’re aware of our 2022/2023 Winter Parts and Service programs. These programs offer you the best savings of the entire year. It’s the perfect time to schedule your inspection, seasonal service, buy maintenance parts, and order attachments. Everything from additional lights, hydraulics, major overhauls, performance upgrade kits, and virtually all OEM John Deere accessories are eligible for the discounts offered.
Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.
Huron Tractor offers an Annual Service Inspection to give you peace of mind this winter and leading into the spring season. ASI’s include equipment checks by trained technicians with 10% off labour and parts. Once the inspection is completed, we will contact you with a checklist to review the repairs. Contact us today for ASI pricing on your John Deere model.
Don’t forget to get your lawn tractor in for an annual Tune and Trim including a 20-point inspection, engine oil change and blade sharpening. If you need your snowblower removed, we offer a Snow to Mow program for removal of chains, snowblower and weights. Off-season maintenance offers substantial savings, whether you choose to have one of our factory-trained technicians do a repair for you, or are servicing a machine yourself. Customers who partner with Huron Tractor for off-season repairs and maintenance experience less downtime and spend less money over all.
TYSON RIER, Salesman
Huron Tractor - Chatsworth
1988 Alfa Romeo Milano - Madness, Beauty, Love and Discipline
By: Robert Iantorno
A short time ago, I drove this one owner, 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano, fell in love and chose not to buy it.
That, dear friends, is discipline.
I think about this car every day, but I need to take care of my family and my other responsibilities at this time, and I must be prudent in my decision making.
Of course, there’s nothing prudent at all regarding the Milano itself. That’s the beauty of the thing -it simply dances in the Obscene. The design goes where the viewer isn’t comfortable going. This “Bella Brutta” was designed by the great Ermanno Cressoni, and is considered the last of the real Alfa Romeos. Called the “75” in Europe, it was designed to honour the firm’s 75th anniversary. He called the brutalist styling “La Linea”. So matter of fact. It’s the automotive equivalent of ladies wearing big hair and big shoulder pads on houndstooth blazers with brass buttons. La Linea doesn’t care that you think it’s ugly. Many do. Get over yourself and get out of my way. Beauty doesn’t have to be beautiful, no?
For years, the public has derided this car for being ugly, needlessly complicated, unreliable, weird. Well the public has no idea what they’re on about -let them howl. This car has so many of the ingredients and personality of the finest Italian exotics at a fraction of the cost. It’s an undervalued under appreciated treasure.
The mechanicals are exquisite. I worship this thing because I’ve been around and I know what I’m talking about. The all-aluminum 2.5L 12V V6 is known as “The Busso” after its creator, and it makes the most enthralling snarling noises as it revs. The thing is alive. The power is linear, and it pulls no problem from a rolling stop in 2nd. The shifts are long, but you’ll never miss a gear if you’re confident in what you’re doing. The gearbox is at the rear, straddled by inboard disc brakes, and bearing the torsion of a weird and delightfully tactile suspension. The handling, steering, balance, FEELING is just divine.
This particular Milano was owned and cherished by an Italian gentleman in Mississauga from new. He passed away in August. It only has 108,000km and was his pride and joy. Just being with the car, I could feel this man’s personality. I could hear that the engine needs a valve adjustment (no big deal, I’ve worked on these engines), and there are a few little things that could be addressed, but it’s so honest. A real gem.
It could be my pride and joy, but it’s not. Not now, anyways. Time for my head to reign in my heart. This Milano is proof of the beautiful madness that lives on the other side of my better judgement.
Life is Short. Just Buy the Plants.
By: Becky Bouwmeester
In 2014, my family made the tremendous jump from a semi-rural area outside of Hamilton, Ontario to the very rural area of Williamsford, Ontario. Williamsford, if you don't know, is a small, proud little village famous for its now sadly closed pie store as well as its still charming and thriving bookstore housed in the old mill.
Moving meant leaving our small and somewhat dated first home, right into a classic Grey County red brick farmhouse. It came complete with a large barn, room for farm critters, and acres for our two young kids to roam.The move was exciting, but leaving my dream job at the time was heart wrenching and difficult. I had spent 5 years working at NVK Nurseries, one of Ontario's largest landscape wholesalers, with some of the most amazingly wonderful and knowledgeable people, and not to mention, the most stunning plants. I questioned whether making the move was the right choice for me professionally at the time.
Fast forward to the spring of 2015 and I was pining (sorry, bad tree pun) for the landscape and horticulture industry and getting my hands dirty beyond the manure and muck of our farm. I dove back into the land of employment with an opportunity at a local tree nursery where I continued to hone my skills as a horticulture consultant, salesperson, and landscape designer. Working with numerous landscapers, I became aware that my skills and borderline obsession for all things green was lending itself to an opportunity. There was a niche to fill consulting to local landscapers who were not as confident and experienced with their tree knowledge and plant material.
A few small consulting and planting jobs turned into a part-time small business, which in turn germinated (sorry) into the Williamsford Landscape Co. in 2019. Based out of, you guessed it, Williamsford,
I offer design and installation, garden maintenance, garden makeovers, as well as and tree and plant consultations. My clientele area encompasses Grey & Bruce Counties...from Durham, all the way to Saugeen Shores, to Wiarton and Meaford. Occasionally, a few special jobs will take me further North on the Bruce Peninsula or South to the cities. Some of my larger projects include the ongoing revitalization of some of the outdoor public spaces in the Owen Sound River District, including the downtown core beds and public spaces.
Being your own boss, especially a female entrepreneur in a typically male dominated industry can be daunting, strenuous, and exhausting some days. That being said, there is instant gratification in my line of work creating amazing outdoor spaces, as well as developing relationships with my clients and networking with supportive industry peers. It definitely makes it a labour of love and passion. It has given me confidence in myself, helping me to grow and expand my skill set while enjoying the opportunity to teach and educate employees, friends, and clients alike. It has been especially handy in helping me conquer my fear of snakes! Somewhat...
All of these changes, experiences, and relationships built have led me to the opportunity of writing a column for this magazine. I am super excited to be able to share with all of the readers some of my knowledge and am hopeful that it will prove valuable in your own gardens.
As spring is approaching quickly, (thankfully!) I think it's important to start thinking about the landscape and garden season ahead. I'll be sharing tips, tricks, and insights for your outdoor space. I will also be featuring a different tree, plant or perennial each column to round out what I hope to be a fun and interesting read!
So what are you waiting for? Let's grow!
By: Jason Todoroff
Winter brings with it things that we don’t like, but it also brings a lot of fun activities such as camping. No, that is not a typo.
Most people associate camping with summer time. Isn’t winter camping cold, you ask? The answer is yes and no. There are two types of winter camping; cold tent camping and hot tent camping. I have enjoyed doing both. Cold tent camping involves a very warm set of clothes and a winter rated sleeping bag ie. -38C rating. I have a cutoff of -15C for cold tent camping. Hot tent camping is done with a tent that has a stove jack and utilizes a small tent wood stove. My cutoff for hot tent camping is -30C.
Winter camping presents some dangers that you need to be aware of. If you are new to this type of camping it is important to be safe. Don’t start off going out in -30 degree weather. Start at -5 or -10. Find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Always give yourself an out. I started off testing my equipment in the front yard. That way if things went bad, I could just go inside and warm up. The use of a wood stove in a tent
can also be dangerous if not used properly.
Nothing is more peaceful than a full moon reflecting off freshly fallen snow together with that sound of a gentle breeze through the pine trees.
Best of all, no mosquitoes.
By: John van Goch
Using the “Waste Wizard” on your municipality’s website, you’ll be made to believe that empty tubes of toothpaste are garbage. THIS IS MISLEADING! Crest and Oral-B will recycle these items, FOR FREE,
as well as any other oral care products such as toothbrushes, flossers, floss containers, and all other “non-recyclable” oral care products. This is done via a company called Terra Cycle Canada.
The government has no infrastructure in place to recycle or collect these products. Imagine a private entity such as a drugstore willing to take these items back. What a great marketing tool! Imagine, the “ONLY PLACE” that facilitates recycling these products. This could increase foot traffic. This establishment could offer a discount on a next purchase which quite likely could lead to increased sales, increased profit, etc.
Make no mistake. Doing this for the environment IS WORK! The argument is that it’s not hard work and the reward is well worth it.
In today’s day and age, I believe that we can’t rely on the government to do everything for us. Private individuals and businesses can step up and do more. I’ve named three companies who are doing it. Will you be the fourth?