My dad taught me all the essential stuff: how to throw a knuckle ball, pop a wheelie, crack off a slap shot and take a fish hook out of my shirt after my kid sister cast her line. He came to ALL of my soccer games and cross-country races and clipped out every crappy poem and doodle I entered in local newspaper contests. He made sure our family unit was granite-solid and well-versed in NHL stats and Rocky movies. He financed many of my teen whims, but, it should be noted that I also earned a fair income taking an SOS pad to the white walls of his Cutlass Supreme tires! He gave my siblings and I the golden thing you can’t buy. His time. Time to play catch, fishing, yo-yo tricks and rainy day marathon Monopoly.
This Father’s Day, make sure you thank dear ol’ dad in a meaningful way. Here’s our short list of cool stuff, curated to suit your dad. Which profile fits him best?
Profile: Buys a different IPA each week, is trying to rebuild a Ducati by watching YouTube tutorials, invites everyone over to try his lamb burger recipe.
Soundtrack: “Bobcaygeon,” The Tragically Hip
Loves: Tony Hawk and Chef Dustin Gallagher
Gift: Patagonia’s Upcycled Mafia Apron. For manning the grill or in the workshop, this water-resistant apron is made of “reincarnated” sails from the San Francisco Bay area, climbing rope from Yosemite and retired Patagonia jackets. The Patagonia Provisions line purchases help support communities recovering from hurricanes and wildfires in addition to programs assisting low income seniors and neighbours living in crisis.
Good Ol’ Fashioned Dad
Profile: Likes to tinker, build birdhouses, always has a Swiss Army Knife and Canadian Tire money in his pocket. Can quote Clint Eastwood movies, reads comics out loud and believes apple pie for breakfast is just fine.
Soundtrack: “Sudbury Saturday Night,” Stompin’ Tom
Loves: Bobby Orr, Farley Mowat
Gift: Dad would give you the shirt off his back, so give him another one! Ileana Grimm’s empire began quite innocently when she hand-painted a t-shirt for a friend’s birthday in 1986. Toronto-based, Grimm designs are wildly popular for their clever quips and wit. Grimm t-shirts don’t go unnoticed—just like dad. He’ll get the last laugh!
#Dad With an Instagram Account
Profile: FaceTimes from Thailand, pursuing scuba and surf dreams, collects only passport stamps, put his downtown condo on Airbnb and is making a mint.
Soundtrack: “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” Jimmy Buffett
Loves: Bear Grylls, Anthony Bourdain
Gift: Halifax Oyster Festival tickets. September 28-29, 2018, the historic Halifax waterfront is a magnet for those who like to taste, sip and schmooze. Two dozen oyster farmers, Maritime brewers, distillers and winemakers will converge to showcase what’s trending. Buy tickets for dad to the “Pearl Jam” tasting sessions and the crowning of the 2018 Nova Scotia Oyster Shucking Champ.
Profile: Completes the NY Times crossword before anything else, working on vintage wine and rare Audubon print collection and growing beard.
Soundtrack: CBC radio, podcasts
Loves: Pierre Berton, Pierre Trudeau
Gift: Dragonfly Dreaming Organics Beard Balm is designed for scruff or full throttle Joe Thornton beards, this forest-to-jar product from Vancouver Island is sensory sexy: think juniper, bay rum and cypress essential oils. The balm is a magical blend of Cowichan wildcrafted poplar bud, St. John’s Wort oil, Argan and sunflower oil, hemp seed, mango and rice bran butters.
Home is Where the Heart is Dad
Profile: Prefers to be at home, on the farm, in the garden. Can make a loon call with a blade of grass and filet a trout in five minutes flat. Stops to admire old tractors, old dogs and old houses. Has a story for every scar and is most happy covered in dirt, sap or grease.
Soundtrack: “Harvest Moon,” Neil Young
Loves: Grey Owl, Peter Mansbridge
Gift: Helly Hansen Chelsea Construction Pants. These indestructible, tear and abrasion-resistant pants are all about versatility. Move seamlessly from chopping wood to fixing the pea trap under the sink. The reinforced nylon Cordura knees are built for the Canadian shield and the instant extend-a-hem feature (lengthening pants by 5cm) is brilliant. The multi-pockets turn these pants into a genuine walking workshop. Helly Hansen’s Norwegian roots trace back to 1877, proof that they’ve got a good, solid thing going on.
BONUS: Buy dad a Harrowsmith subscription this month and win one of 10 books from New Society Publishers! Click here!
Jules Torti’s work has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe & Mail, travelife, Canadian Running and Coast Mountain Culture. With experiences as a canoe outtripper, outdoor educator, colouring book illustrator and freelancer, she is thrilled to be able to curate, write and read about the very best things in life.