London-based architect George F. Durand designed several major landmarks in Petrolia, including St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Victoria Hall and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. These photos are taken from the book, Victorian Heritage, published in 1986 by Nancy Tausky and Lynne DiStefano. Handout/Petrolia Topic

Petrolia's architect

Anyone with a keen interest in Victorian architecture knows of the name George F. Durand (1850-1889).

The small hidden beach at Colomitos Cove, in the Bay of Banderas, Mexico is accessed mostly by boat by locals and cruises dropping anchor on a day trip from Puerto Vallarta's marina. (Barbara Taylor/London Free Press)

Pacific paradise

Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville ... Love the Jimmy Buffett song and enjoyed many a hit-the-spot tequila and lime drink while in Mexico recently.

View from the Terranea Resort on the Palos Verdes peninsula, not far from ultra urban Los Angeles. The '60s Batman TV series and some Pirates of the Caribbean scenes were shot in the area. MARK DANIELL/TORONTO SUN

Rethinking the Los Angeles experience

Tell someone you're going to Los Angeles, and it's unlikely the first thing they're going to think is: Wow, what a great place to hike, escape to an island and get in touch with nature.