I would like to share some very personal reflections about inspiration. I grew up in the little town of Port Credit, right on Lake Ontario. It is now part of Mississauga and has undergone many changes over the years. My father, Errol Culham, was a custom home builder in the area; he built the house I grew up in on land that had been an apple orchard. My brother & I used to go to his job sites on the weekends to clean up (those were the days when you were allowed to have a burn pile!). Many homes my father built were his own design and he allowed me to sit in meetings with clients (under strict warning of course, “Watch & listen, but say nothing!”). Port Credit in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s was a virtual education in architectural styles with its quaint stone cottages next to sleek modern homes. Our home was a modest bungalow. You can imagine the excitement I experienced visiting friends’ older two storey homes with their stately entry halls, slate floors, stained oak trims and leaded glass windows. Inspiration for my work has grown out of that early exposure and the support of my parents who never believed that architecture was a ‘man’s world’. David & Susan’s home (featured in this newsletter) had a 1972 rear addition that was built by my father. It was such a thrill to work with the blueprints he built from 42 years ago. It has been a privilege to have designed over twenty custom homes & home additions in Port Credit over the past 15 years.


Who doesn’t love windows? They connect us to, yet protect us from our environment. Deciding what kind of windows to use is an important part of a planning process and I find that my clients generally want lots of big windows. The Ontario Building Code now requires windows in new homes and additions to perform to specific Thermal Performance Requirements. It is important to ensure that the windows chosen for a project meet or exceed these levels. Window choices, then, are made from an aesthetic and performance perspective. Some of the commonly specified windows are as follows: Aluminum windows have been traditionally used for commercial applications; they are gaining popularity in the residential market for their sleek, clean lines, slim profiles and large glazing options. Vinyl windows are popular for their cost effectiveness; however, they have limited exterior colour options. My personal favourite has always been wood aluminum clad for their attractive profiles, energy efficiency, range of exterior colours and their long-lasting performance.

For window ratings through Natural Resources Canada go to

Windows Manufacturers I have used in order of frequency:

I love winter! No, I’m not mad. I love the crunch of snow under foot, the crispness of the air and the smell of a wood fire. I love how the sun, low in the sky, filters deep into our house. When I was visiting David & Susan to take pictures of their home (featured in this newsletter), Susan mentioned the same thing, how, since the layout has been opened up, that lovely winter light travels through the space. Over the Christmas holidays, I hope you will be able to find time on some sunny afternoon to curl up in a comfy chair and read a good book. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year ahead!


David & Susan’s home is a classic example of a home with ‘good bones’ but in need of updating. Set in a lovely treed neighbourhood in old Port Credit, it was built in the 1960’s and had been added to in the 1970’s (see the Inspiration article). Vital components of the home were failing: the roof was leaking and the windows needed to be replaced with more energy efficient ones. With no change to the building’s footprint, a 100 square foot alcove at the main floor was enclosed and 190 square feet was added at the second floor. This, along with the relocation of the main stair to the center of the house, opens up the flow of the principle rooms across the rear of the house, and at the second floor it creates a spacious hall for the 5 bedrooms. Covering up the brick on the exterior allowed for the opportunity to develop a traditional Georgian architectural style with clapboard and white trims.

Home Design: Jane Cameron, Life Home Design
Structural Engineering: Steve Boyd, Quaile Engineering,
Builder: Ron Muszynski, Ravensbrook Homes,
Landscaping: Gord Kerr, G. Kerr Consulting, Email:
Landscape Designer: Beth Edney, Designs by the Yard
Interior Décor: Pat Sawa
Windows & Exterior Doors: Pella,
Exterior Siding: James Hardie Plank,
Roofer: Carey Murray, Jackson Roofing, Email:
Roofing: Certainteed Independence,
Kitchen: Nantucket Kitchens,
Wood Floors: California Hardwood Flooring,
Trims & Interior Doors: Forestview Industries,
Stair: Stair Star,
Railings: Railing Excellence,
Laundry and Bathroom Vanities:
Plumbing Fixtures: Desco,


Ribs were always something we would eat when we were out. I started researching different recipes this year and found many of them involve a full day commitment! Then I came across this recipe - they’re super easy and just “Divine” as our daughter’s boyfriend describes them!

Recipe – Divine Ribs (serves 4, Oven 350 degrees)

4 lbs. pork spareribs
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Place ribs in a casserole, cover and bake for 1 hours.
For sauce, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup and garlic.
Pour sauce over ribs and continue cooking for another 1/2 hour (I put the lid back on) or until tender. Turn ribs occasionally to coat with sauce.

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