Across this vast beautiful nation, Canadians are proudly celebrating 150 years since Confederation.

From Cape Spear in Newfoundland to Boundary Peak in the Yukon, businesses are honouring the anniversary with discounted events, activities, vacations and much more.

Once thought to become the capital of Ontario and known to many as “the big city with a small-town feel,” London businesses boast competitive skills and products you expect to find in larger cities with the genuine hospitality of smaller towns.

Chris Costello

Escape Room

Canadians take pride in their beer, and so they should. Touting a high alcohol content and robust flavour, the country produces some of the tastiest beer on the planet. These days, folks are trading in their macro beers to support the craft beer revolution. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that the big three, Molson, Labatt and Carling, carved out the reputation that Canada enjoys today, and it wasn’t without risk, danger and secrecy.

By 1840, London, Ontario housed two successful breweries started by British immigrants: the London Brewery, which later became the John Labatt’s Brewery, and Carling. First built in 1967, thanks to a team of historians, architects and builders — a replica of the former can be found in Fanshawe Pioneer Village.

Designing a story around the brewing history in London provided an immersive revelation of a colourful and scandalous past. Set in the 1920s, Ransom opened this summer. A twist on the escape room experience, the game focused on saving a kidnapped local brewer. Actors used slang from the period such as “scofflaw, all-wet, baloney, bootleg, don’t know from nothin’, I have to go see a man about a dog and now you’re on the trolley.” Items in the game included: barrels, jars, furniture, the “mash”, fermentation barrels and assorted small tools. While not authentic to events in 1920, the “recipe” in the game is based on the brewer’s discovery of India Pale Ale, which revolutionized the brewing industry. In 1863, it became the best-selling beer for over a century.

David Spinney


Since King Henry VII’s decision in February of 1498 to invest in John Cabot and his crew’s journey to what would eventually become Canada, our land has seen generations of people trade goods and services in an attempt to increase their riches. Early French and English settlers stockpiled furs and cured fish to trade both with each other and with the first peoples of our land. The scarcity of these resources created value in possessing them — the goods that are harder for us to obtain have more value to whomever possesses them. This may not resemble the type of investment that began to take place in 1852 when 12 Canadian businessmen founded an association that would later lead to the Toronto Stock Exchange, but these early dealings are what created the framework for an organized market where investors can use their wealth to help build Canadian businesses.

One of the most notable investments in our land took place in 1670, when King Charles of England gave direction for Prince Rupert to form the Hudson’s Bay Company — a fur trading organization that led to the HBC that still exists today. Originally, the Hudson’s Bay Company owned all of what was then known as “Rupert’s Land” — the land that drains into the Hudson’s Bay, accounting for more than 40% of modern Canada’s land. HBC went through a great deal of change in the 347 years that they have been in existence — eventually being sold to an American investment firm in 2008.

Kelly & Derek Sloan

Sloan Kitchen Tops

Quartz is the most common mineral of Earth’s crust. The fine crystals that are found in quartz grow in water-filled holes, bubbles or clefts. It requires a great deal of time and the right conditions concerning pressure, temperature and ground water chemistry. The only mine in Canada, Mine Cristal, was founded in 1989 by Pauline and Gaudry Normand in Bonsecours, Quebec. Mine Cristal is located in the Appalachian Mountains in a pine tree forest with a beautiful view over distant mountains. Today, 32 different varieties of quartz crystals have been cataloged here, estimated to be 300 million years old. The extraction process is done by hand, in a manner which respects both the environment and the crystals: endeavoring to keep the crystals whole and in a pristine state. The mining technique done to harvest the crystals is called hydro-extraction mining, as water is used to dislocate the minerals.

At Sloan Stone Design, we fabricate and install Quartz counter tops used for kitchens, vanities, desk tops, etc. One of our quartz suppliers, Hanwha Surfaces located in London Ontario, follows rigorous quality assurance procedures throughout the entire research, development and manufacturing process. The process begins with a meticulous inspection of all incoming raw materials: color, grade and composition. These are blended at a ratio of up to 93% natural quartz aggregates with pigments and polymer resins. The material is then transported to our fabrication shop to be precisely cut by our CNC machines, and is finally installed by our professional team into homes across London and surrounding area.

Sanjay Agrawal


The year 2017 is significant for Canadians not only because it’s the 150th anniversary of Confederation, but because it is also 150 years since the formation of the Ontario Dental Association (ODA).

On July 2, 1867, in Cobourg, Ontario, 31 dentists attended a meeting and wrote the Constitution and By-Laws for the ODA.  Before the act was created, scientific and technical training in a school did not exist for dentistry. Students would learn basic skills, open their own practice far from any help, and such a rivalry existed that shared learnings were a foreign concept.

Less than a year later, a bill to legislate dentistry became law, which led to the first dental act being passed in the world. What came out this act was the Royal College Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) who developed a set of standards and qualifications for the profession. It became common knowledge to use amalgam (tin, silver and mercury) for cavity fillings, nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic for tooth extraction and vulcanite and porcelain to make dentures.

Along with the implementation of proper schooling, dentistry became a profession not a trade with the language around the service evolving as well. Dentists were to refer to themselves as ‘practitioners with patients who paid fees for operations’ as opposed to ‘workmen with customers who paid prices for jobs’.


Daniel Lopez


In recent years, the barbershop has seen a revival, and rightly so, considering it is one of the oldest occupations. Its roots trace back thousands of years with barbers being represented on monuments and papyrus from Ancient Egypt. The actual word ‘barber’ comes from the Latin word ‘barba’ meaning ‘beard’.

Barbers were once some of the most distinguished and respected people in society. The earliest tribes believed that hair carried evil spirits so cutting it renewed a clean spirit, and being skilled in the craft was a sacred honour held by priests. For Romans, Greeks and Persians around 300 BC, being groomed showed status because it visibly separated a ‘free’ man from a slave. It was during this time that the communal barbershop, where men could discuss politics, philosophy and other matters of the day, was created and popularized. Into the Middle Ages, the job evolved into being a barber-surgeon, which included bloodletting, teeth pulling and bone setting on top of hair cutting, beard trimming and hair design.

Fast-forward to modern-day Canada and a barbershop still offers a hot shave and a comfortable barber’s chair, and it continues to be a haven for men to talk about sports, the economy or unload some baggage. With a mission to produce the best quality of men’s hair care with precise and specialized techniques and embracing tradition honed over centuries, Five Star Barber is bringing back the barber shop experience for men.

Jillian Summers

Home Stager

Flip through the pages of any home décor magazine or binge-watch HGTV and you’ll notice farmhouse décor is everywhere. Apron sinks in expansive, unpretentious kitchens, warm neutral tones with exposed rustic beams and vintage decorative accents are bringing back this classic country style character.

Traditional farmhouses were about simplicity of living. The name originally referred to their geographical location not their style because they were built on agricultural land. The design and practicality of the farmhouse made its way to Canada in the 1700s by European working-class immigrants who settled in Quebec and Ontario. The houses were functional, easily constructed by hand with the available materials and provided shelter from the harsh winters for farm owners and their workers.

The modern farmhouse is a spin on the traditional farmhouse, combining contemporary ambiance with classic character. Rough, jaded wood flooring with gouges and scrapes was a defining feature of these historic homes. Nowadays, the look is achieved by using distressed flooring that integrates hand scraped or wire brushed hardwood, such as refinished barn board.

In terms of exterior design, incorporate white panelling (sometimes known as “board and batten”) and dark coloured window and door trim. Homeowners looking to take their love of the modern farmhouse beyond simple cosmetic renovations can go one step further with classic-style furniture and architectural details. Shiplap walls, exposed beams, chunkier baseboards and more pronounced window and door trim can all add that farmhouse style.