Cyndi Taylor considers Canvas and Cabernet her second home and the trendy yet welcoming wine bar is as unique and warm as its owner.
Taylor’s passions are art, music, wine and food and the Dunlop St. East establishment offers it all - and a water view of Kempenfelt Bay.
Her inspiration came during a visit to California where Taylor toured the National Historic Landmark mansion of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
“It was the most inspiring piece of history I have ever seen in art and architecture and collections of worldly goods. I was gobsmacked the whole time I was there," she explained.
That night she and a friend stayed in the seaside village of Cambria and had tapas at a tiny little outdoor pub with live music, patio lanterns and ‘bad art’ on the walls.
Taylor recalls she was drinking a glass of wine when out of the blue the singer turned to her.
“He looked at me and said ‘Darlin', everything is going to be allright.’ The last words my mother said to me before she died,’” said Taylor.
“My life just changed right now,” she said to her friend.
At that time, Taylor was facing the end of a twenty-one year career in holistic medicine.
Her tired and sore hands were unable to continue doing acupuncture and massage.
“I had been praying for five years for a change and I didn’t think I was ever going to be doing anything else. And I came home and in my dreams and in my waking hours this was created.”
That was two and half years ago and Taylor has never looked back.
Her daughter designed the space and Taylor imported her California experience of music, wine and painting to Barrie.
Canvas and Cabernet offers live bands, karaoke, vinyl records, food, art and fun.
The fully licensed establishment has a wine bar, traditional cocktails, beer and a European style menu of charcuterie (grilled meats), specialty cheese and chocolate.
There are six painting classes per week for non-experienced artists to come with friends, a date night, or any kind of party.
“Having never painted before, it’s intimidating that first plop of paint. Thirty minutes later, everybody settles in. We go through it step by step until the end and they sign their painting and say ‘oh my god I can’t believe I did this’. If you, myself included, didn’t think I could ever do this, what else can you do in the world that you thought you couldn’t? There is no limit,” Taylor said.
Born and raised on a farm in New Brunswick, Taylor moved to Barrie ten years ago and loves her ‘home’ on Dunlop St. East.
“Three years ago I was standing, looking in the mirror gong what the hell you gonna do now? How many more times in life can you recreate yourself? Well I’m here to tell you this is my last stop - maybe,” she said.
"I have a lot of people coming in here telling me that I’m building a community and a family in here. When I start the class at night I say welcome to my home.”