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S AT U R D AY , A P R I L 2 , 2 016


at home
Skin-care guru Roohi
Qureshi brings the spa
experience to her bathroom

t may be unusual to design an

entire home around the bathroom,
but Dr. Roohi Qureshi did just that
when she undertook the renovation
of a dilapidated Victorian townhouse facing Torontos Moss Park three years ago.
Reserving the street level as a storefront
for her natural beauty company, Leaves of
Trees, Qureshi converted the upper two
floors into her home, with a hammaminspired bathroom acting as a haven from
the street bustle and business below.
The vision for the space started
with the bathroom, says Qureshi, who
worked with friend and architectural designer Elena Santini of E14 Architecture
+ Design. It was a mess. [Santini] came
to see it and said, I wouldnt have bought
the building. Qureshi was forced to
completely gut the interior due to termite
damage, leaving her with a clean slate.
The extremely narrow bathroom area
with towering 14-foot ceilings reminded
Qureshi of cave-like spas she visited in
Turkey and Kosovo. They have really old
hammams, all grey and dark, with little
holes at the top to let the steam out and
a little bit of light in. In contrast to the
contemporary fittings and furniture in
the rest of the home, Qureshis spa bathroom features accent pieces transported
from the Old World.
Huge antique sliding doors open to
the private hammam. Arent they great?
I got them from the Door Store. They are
reclaimed from Egypt, she says of the
once-exterior doors, weathered from years
of sand and wind exposure. Inside, the
walls are decorated with floor-to-ceiling
charcoal grey Moroccan zellige tiles. We
did it all custom. Its not a typical colour.
Usually, they are much brighter, but I
thought grey was more understated. The


somewhat rustic tiles
are juxtaposed with
a modern, suspended
vanity with mirrored
doors from Montrealbased Wetstyle. I wanted
everything floating vanity
and toilet so nothing touches the
ground. Qureshi also opted for polished concrete heated floors, but its
the steam shower that really shines as
the rooms main attraction.
The shower is covered with dramatic
indigo and white zellige mosaic tiles,
and outfitted with a steam generator
by Mr. Steam and a rain-shower system
from Cabano, both purchased from Roman Bath Centre in Toronto. The showers
glass wall was custom made to fit the tall
space. Qureshi, who is a believer in practising natural wellness, takes two showers
daily and spends about 15 minutes a day
steaming and relaxing, with a few drops
of refreshing eucalyptus oil, before drying off with an organic cotton and linen
Turkish towel from her own shop. Its



Get the look

1. Frame vanity by Wetstyle, from $1,800 at Taps Bath
(www.tapsbath.com). 2. Rektangel vase, $6.99 at Ikea
(www.ikea.ca). 3. Moroccan zellige tiles, price on request from
Morocco Designs (www.moroccodesigns.com). 4. Turkish
towel, $60 at Leaves of Trees (www.leavesoftrees.com).
5. Parker ceiling light by Jonathan Adler, $550
at Gingers (www.gingers.com).

nice to have [this environment] in

your house as opposed to having to go
somewhere, she says. During the day
the skylight installed to resemble the
spas in Turkey and Kosovo lets in just
enough light. In the evenings, Jonathan Adler pendants above the vanity
create a slightly muted atmosphere.
Below them banana leaves from Patchouli bring a touch of nature inside.
When shes not taking advantage
of her magnificent home spa, Qureshi
is in the basement lab beneath the
store, concocting new formulations
and products, including a soon-to-belaunched travel kit, inspired by her
love of adventure.
Ive travelled a lot, but now that
my home is so beautiful, I dont really
want to leave it, jokes Qureshi as shes
getting ready to depart for Colombia.
But upon returning from a lengthy
flight, her hammam will be waiting,
full steam ahead. ANYA GEORGIJEVIC
Special to The Globe and Mail

Dancing with the stars

A gala for the National Ballet School puts some punk into pointe


onocles, eye patches, corseted

bustles, frock coats and techenhanced limbs were de rigueur
at a recent event in Toronto.
It wasnt a comic book convention, but
rather an evening in support of Canadas
National Ballet School, which took inspiration from steampunk culture, a look
characterized by elements of 19th-century
industrial steam-powered machinery. The
theme though very specific and a trifle
wacky worked, and the guests who went
for it, donning head-to-toe steampunk
ensembles, get an A for effort in my books.
The unique old-time motif complements the novelty of the National Ballet
School itself the only school of its kind
in North America that provides professional dance training alongside academic
courses and residential care on the same
campus. Though based in Toronto, the
schools artistic staff make annual voyages across Canada to scope out new talent, offering open classes and auditions
in some 20 cities. The national audition
tour is followed by a month-long summer program, after which just 50 of the
auditioning students are invited to join
the full-time professional ballet program.
Courtesy of sponsors Joan and Jerry
Lozinski, guests at the gala were treated
to performances by students enrolled
in the program. The highlights were the
wonderfully executed excerpts from
Yondering, a piece by choreographer John
Neumeier commissioned for the school
in 1996 by artistic director Mavis Staines
(who was on hand for this event). Set to
music and lyrics by American songwriter
Stephen Foster, the work explores youth,

innocence and adventure.

Speaking of gen-nexters on the
ascend, Jen McCain, a consultant at KPMG
Canada, is by night a burgeoning presence on the fundraising scene, and was
tasked with chairing this latest do. Called
in to take the spot of honorary chair
was a more familiar McCain, her grandmother Margaret, noted philanthropist
and former Lieutenant Governor of New
Brunswick. The two drew an impressive
crowd on the evening of March 4 a mix
of established givers including members
of the Sobey, Tanenbaum, McKenna and
Shaw clans, as well as a crop of young
patrons, including fashion designer
Tanya Taylor, who sponsored the cocktail
reception, and the First Position Patrons,
a group of young givers who joined later
in the evening for drinks and gambling
in support of the schools programs
and initiatives.
Among those out: Corus Entertainment executive chair Heather Shaw; The
Woodbridge Company Ltd. president and
CEO and National Ballet of Canada board
chair David Binet; Hudsons Bay Company
vice-chairman Bonnie Brooks; property
developer and gala committee member
Michael von Teichman; Johnson & Johnson Inc.s president and managing director
Louisa Greco; BMOs Wealth Management
Group head Gilles Ouellette and his wife
Julia. Also in attendance was the art set
including Partners in Art founding member Carol Weinbaum, painter Andrea
Bolley, and Art Canada Institutes founding executive director Sarah Angel; dance
types including prima ballerina Veronica
Tennant, National Ballet of Canada first
soloists Francesco Gabriele Frola and
Robert Stephen, and the National Ballet of
Canadas executive director Barry Hughson; and philanthropists including Lindy
Barrow, Capital Canada Ltd.s Robert
Foster and his wife Julia; and Jim Pitblado
and his wife Sandra.
Funds from the annual event, which
make up 40 per cent of the schools
annual fundraising goal, this year broke
the $1-million mark.
Special to The Globe and Mail


1. Mavis Staines.
2. John Dalrymple
and Kim Tanenbaum.
3. Jen McCain.
4. Tanya Taylor.
5. Bruce Zinger.
6. Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain.

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