Saturday, August 30, 2014

Holmes Jr. A Wood Chip Off The Old Block

Parents can be a real drag sometimes, with all of their constant hovering and critiquing! I can only imagine what it must have been like for Mike Holmes, Jr. this past year as he slaved over what can only be described as the biggest project of his life. On September 1, Mike's Ultimate Garage premieres on HGTV Canada and will chronicle this momentous build. In the article below, Mike Holmes, Jr. describes a little of what it was like to be Mike Holmes, Sr.'s contractor. Let's just say the word "stressful" doesn't even begin to describe the experience!

From the Winnipeg Free

Holmes Jr. a wood chip off the old block

Think back for a moment to all those times your dad would hover over you as you attended to some chore or other, and how he'd offer critical assessments at every step and drone on about how anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Then imagine what that experience might be like if your dad happened to be Canada's favourite contractor, ol' Mr. Make It Right himself, Mike Holmes.
Or better yet, why not just ask Mike Holmes Jr., who had the unenviable task of leading the construction crew when his father's dream garage was being built.
With Mike Sr. constantly looking on, and a camera crew documenting his every move, the younger Holmes oversaw the erection of one of the most ambitious, most complex and most manly man-cave-ish garage projects you'll ever see. And of course, the entire arduous, year-long experience was turned into an HGTV special, Mike's Ultimate Garage, which premières Monday at 7 p.m.
"It was life changing," the younger Holmes says during a recent telephone interview, in which he and his famous father compare notes on the garage project, which began -- with foundation bricks already in place -- early in 2013 and was completed while last winter's snow was still on the ground.
"It was extremely stressful, and one of the many things I learned from it is how to handle my stress better. You need to enjoy life. And don't get me wrong, it was a fun project and I did enjoy it, but I needed to learn how to manage my stress better during the job."
Mike Jr., 25, had just completed his first semester of carpentry training at a Toronto-area college when Mike Sr. stopped by his job site and offered him the chance to lead the garage project crew. For a relatively inexperienced tradesman whose previous work was limited mostly to renovations, it was no small undertaking -- the mega-garage in question is an 1,800-square-foot behemoth that is fully self-powered (thanks to 40 roof-mounted solar panels), features state-of-the-art water-recovery technology and boasts a full workshop (complete with two car lifts), a recreation room and workout area, and a lavishly appointed second-floor bar area.
"I had always wanted a garage," the elder Holmes says. "I have a big workshop, which I love, but the cars didn't mix in well with all the tools, because I was terrified of scratching them and they were always getting dirty. So I had stopped even playing with (the cars) in the shop, and realized that we had to build this garage.
"And then it hit me that if I could teach my son how to do this incredible garage project, and how to run the crew, then maybe we should be filming this. So I threw the idea at the network, and Shaw (which owns HGTV) said they liked it."
As stressful as it was for Mike Jr. to run the project and deal with a very steep learning curve, it might have been even more nerve-racking for his Type-A father and mentor to maintain a hands-off approach so that his son could fully benefit from the experience.
"It was hardest when he was really stressed, when it looked like he wasn't going to make it," the garage's proud owner explains. "So what I'd do is just say, 'Hey, come here,' and we'd go talk in the back yard, or I'd take him for dinner. I would tell him, 'You're doing good,' and just try to help him stay on top of it.
"And at the end of this, I know now that he can do anything... this was like throwing him in the ocean, and he had to swim home."
Given the many months and hundreds of hours of footage that were involved in filming this special, it would have been easy to propose Ultimate Garage as a six- or 12-episode series. But the contractor who has built a TV empire on the strength of Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection and Holmes Makes it Right (which had its season première last week) insists that a two-hour special is the right format for this HGTV effort.
"I knew that this would be good on television, but it also came to the point of, 'Do we want to be like the Kardashians ... or do we just want to make an action-packed, wonderful show?' And the latter idea took hold. We don't want people to get bored with something like this -- and I don't think they would have -- but this way, they're going to sit down on Monday night and be riveted by it. You're going to spend two hours watching, and then you'll kind of wish there was more."
brad.oswald@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 30, 2014 G3

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mike Holmes for Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT

Who doesn't love warm toasty feet in the dead of winter? I know I do! One of the best ways to take the chill out off of a cold floor is radiant in floor heating, in which heating coils are installed underneath a floor's surface. When the system is on, the coils heat the floor, which in turn heats your feet, and as Mike Holmes always says, when your feet are warm so is the rest of you. Radiant in floor heating technology has come a long way in recent years, and with Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT homeowners can combine two of Mike's favorite things -- Ditra (that orange underlayment you see Mike installing in practically every bathroom) and toasty warm toes. This is definitely a cool and innovative product!

In the video below, Mike Holmes demonstrates the installation of Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT, which allows the heat cables to be snapped effortlessly into place. After the cables are set, the floor is tile ready--no leveling compounds are required! The Ditra prevents damage to the tile by uncoupling the tile from the substrate. By doing this, the tile and substrate are allowed to move independently of each other, which prevents tile and grout cracking.

View Mike and his daughter Sherry installing Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mike Holmes and Mike Jr. Q&A Interview

Right off the heels of a busy morning promoting their new show, Mike's Ultimate Garage (see Mike's Ultimate Garage -- Media Blitz), Mike and MJ sat down with the Ottawa Citizen for a chat. What did they chat about? Try minimum code, the family business, and *gulp* retirement (or a lack there of)! Take a look:

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Mike Holmes lets his son build him an ultimate garage

Published on: August 27, 2014 Last Updated: August 27, 2014 11:12 AM EDT

Celebrity contractor Mike Holmes shows his son, Mike, Jr., the blueprints for his dream garage. Holmes has given the reins to his son, who will build the garage on the new HGTV show Mike’s Ultimate Garage, which airs Monday.HGTV Canada / Ottawa Citizen

Mike Holmes is not a man accustomed to taking the back seat. But he does just that when his son, Mike Holmes, Jr., assumes control of a project dear to his dad’s heart in Mike’s Ultimate Garage, a two-hour special airing Monday on HGTV Canada.

MJ, as the 25-year-old with the-boy-next-door good looks is known, has appeared on his father’s popular television shows, including Holmes Makes It Right. This time he takes over as project lead at the block-frame stage of an 1,800-square-foot, razzle-dazzle garage his father has always dreamed of owning and steers the build to completion. Dad is on site to advise during part of that process, but MJ, with both a deadline and his father’s reputation for perfectionism looming, bans Holmes as he applies the finishing touches for the big “reveal.”

MJ, a second-year carpentry student at George Brown College in Toronto, has led renovation projects in the past, but this is his first new build. And it’s a jaw-dropper: located at his father’s home, the garage boasts everything from two car lifts and a second-storey gym to a green roof and 40 solar panels to make it totally off-grid.

We caught up with father and son recently to talk about the project and their work together.

MJ, what’s the trick to working successfully with your father?

A: Not everyone can do it; it depends on your relationship, and we have a really good one. There’s times it gets frustrating and we butt heads, but at the end of the day we look at each other, resolve our problems and go on from there.

Mike, how difficult was it to surrender control to MJ?

A: It was very hard. I’m the guy that’s on a site from beginning to end. It’s the first time I’ve walked away and had someone else finish it. I was out every morning in my robe with a coffee walking around the garage, peeking, but I never did go in.

MJ, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your dad?

A: To treat people how you want to be treated, and that you get what you give. (At one point in the show, MJ says, “As much as he comes across as a big, scary guy, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” Mike, meanwhile, says to both his son and a crew member, “Love ya, man,” which is kind of the brawny, guy version of the more direct, “I love you.”)

MJ, what’s he taught you about leadership?

A: We’ve worked with guys that scream and yell, and it’s a toxic workplace. Having a leader with a good attitude creates a good work site and an efficient work site.

Mike, your three children — MJ, Sherry and Amanda — are all involved in your company. What are you proudest of about them?

A: That all my kids know how to be good people, and their ability to handle life. They’re also in the trades and damn good at it.

Mike, your Ultimate Garage is extremely well-built. What sort of things do you see done badly in other garages?

A: If we keep building with minimum code, you’re going to have crap garages. If we build better and smarter, it will last forever — it’s that simple.

MJ, do you plan to continue the family tradition and become a multi-media personality like your father?

A: Someone’s got to take over the company one day, and I figure who better than his son? We share the same blood, the same passion. Who better to carry on the legacy?

Mike, any plans to retire?

A: I will one day. I guess I just have to let it all go. Will I ever be out of it completely? That’s a really good question. (Adds his son, “I don’t think so. I don’t think he can stop.”)

Mike’s Ultimate Garage, a one-night only show, airs at 8 p.m. Monday on HGTV Canada. The new season of Holmes Makes It Right began earlier this week on HGTV.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mike's Ultimate Garage -- Media Blitz

What would it feel like to be Mike Holmes' contractor? My guess would be quite nerve-wracking, after all, Mike is the ultimate perfectionist when it comes to building. On September 1, Mike's son, Mike Jr. "MJ," tackles the ultimate project, that is, building the ultimate dream man space for his dad on the special Mike's Ultimate Garage. The 2-hour special is set to air on HGTV Canada -- no word yet if the show will air in the States or elsewhere. Today, Mike and MJ went on a short media blitz to promote the father-son special. Watch the trailer for Mike's Ultimate Garage:

First stop was with Kiss 92.5, a radio station in Toronto, to do a live spot on the Roz and Mocha Show. You can listen to the live show here. One of the hosts on the show states that his favorite moment from the special was when MJ cut his finger and Mike Sr. jumped to the rescue, lovingly bandaging his son's finger with a band-aid.
Pictures from Facebook and Twitter:

Next stop was yet another radio show, Newstalk 1010's Moore in the Morning. Mike's Segment begins at the 16:45 mark. Mike Sr. admits to being a really tough client who put a lot of pressure on Mike Jr. to turn his dream into a reality. He describes the garage as being totally off the grid, with solar and a battery backup, complete with a bar and plenty of space for all his toys.
Pictures from Facebook and Twitter:

 The media junket continued with a spot on the morning show Roger Darren & Marilyn on 104.5 CHUM FM. Mike's segment begins around the 18:15 mark. On this show, Mike admits that it was not easy to relinquish control to his son to build his 1,850 square foot garage. Mike Jr. states that the job was overwhelming and exhausting. Mike also talks about his sudden fascination with collecting cars. He states his favorite car is his Autobiography Range Rover (which retails around $150,000!).


Next stop on the media tour was an interview on the Morning Show in Toronto. Mike again states that handing the project over to his son was extremely hard. Mike Jr. stated that although his dad is tough and firm, he's also a loving teddy bear. Watch Mike and MJ's segment here:

Pictures from Facebook and Twitter:


Next, Mike and MJ took some time to teleconference Calgary radio station 101.5 Kool FM. Currently, that interview has yet to be posted, but Mike did post some photos from the studio. Also posted were photos of Mike and MJ answering some questions for ET Canada.

Rest up guys! Don't work too hard!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mike Holmes for ROXUL Insulation - Video

Mike Holmes is not quick to endorse any product. Any time he attaches his name to something, consumers can know that Mike has not only tested it and used it on other people's homes, but would use it in his own home as well. Earlier this year in June, Mike Holmes announced a partnership with North America's leading manufacture of stone wool insulation products, ROXUL (see Mike Holmes and ROXUL Launch Partnership for more information). Mike Holmes has been using this product for years, and it's a familiar brand if you watch any of his shows. In fact, in March of this year, Mike and his crew (including Glen,  his son Mike Jr. and daughter Sherry, who is heard laughing and snorting in background) released this 50 second video called Hashtag Insulation, in which they poke fun of the social media phenomena of hashtagging words to start trends:

Yesterday, ROXUL's YouTube channel posted this video of Mike and son installing ROXUL ComfortBatt insulation, and ROXUL Comfortboard, which is a rigid mineral wool insulation sheathing board, inside of a basement. Mike explains how the product has become part of his own minimum code because of it's water and fire resistance. It's also incredibly easy to install, and is Holmes-approved as a DIY project for capable homeowners, assuming they visit first and do their homework.


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Secret Behind HGTV Canada's Global Success

Canada is not necessarily a country made famous by its exports. We've got French wine, Swiss chocolate, Polish sausage, German beer, and English tea. So other than poutine and maple syrup (which are both as delicious as they are Canadian), what exactly is Canada's most valuable cultural export? Believe it or not, it could be very well be a series of extremely popular television shows which hold a surprisingly strong global appeal. People from all over the world find themselves captivated by some of HGTV Canada's most endearing hosts, such as Scott McGillivray, Bryan Baeumler, and Mike Holmes -- the Holy Trinity of HGTV. Nearly 3 out of 4 of the shows featured on HGTV Canada have sold in the US, and many shows such as Holmes on Homes air in dozens of countries around the world! It's crazy to think that these renovation reality shows could hold such universal appeal. The article below examines the phenomena that is HGTV Canada's world wide appeal, and rightfully states that Mike Holmes is the heart of HGTV.

From Yahoo News Canada:

How HGTV Canada built a specialty powerhouse and a global following

TORONTO - Mike Holmes never wanted to be on television.
The straight-talking builder had worked as a contractor for decades before he wound up filling in behind the scenes on an HGTV Canada show. While in a network executive's office one day, Holmes — a passionate defender of practical home-building — gave him a piece of his mind.
"I said, 'You know what, I watch the shows on your channel and this is poor information that I'm seeing. I'm sick and tired of seeing people getting screwed and fixing crap that doesn't make sense,'" recalled Holmes. "He stood up and said, 'I want a pilot right away.'"
Now, Holmes's no-nonsense style is at the heart of HGTV Canada's success. The network has built a specialty powerhouse based on authentic Canadians — generally choosing real experts over slick personalities — and offering a reliable stable of home-improvement and house-hunting shows.
The formula has paid off. In a market where many networks are scrambling for a homegrown hit, HGTV Canada boasts a startling number of highly rated Canuck shows (the network's licence dictates that 50 per cent of its shows be Canadian). Eight out of the top 10 shows on the network during the winter/spring 2014 season were Canadian, among them "Timber Kings," "Canada's Handyman Challenge" and "Leave it To Bryan."
Beyond our borders, fans of fix-it shows have become accustomed to Canadian scenery and housing markets: 75 per cent of HGTV Canada's programming has sold in the U.S. "Timber Kings," which follows the adventures of log home builders in Williams Lake, B.C., airs in more than 30 countries.
"'Timber Kings' is number one, hands down. That show just smashed all kinds of records for us here at HGTV," said Christine Shipton, Shaw Media's vice president of original content.
The series swiftly became the highest-rated show ever on the network when it premiered earlier this year. For Shipton, it's a prime example of what the network is doing well.
"I really think the ability to bring character and stories into renovation and home decor is what's really keeping up our channel's momentum," she said. "We really can't just be a how-to channel anymore."
Specialty channels have a far better chance of producing successful Canadian shows than conventional networks, said Douglas Barrett, CTV professor of broadcast management at York University's Schulich School of Business.
"Everybody would fall over if eight of the 10 top shows on CTV were Canadian," said Barrett, who is unaffiliated with the network that endows his professorship. "We always talk in drama about how difficult it is to produce shows that are creatively competitive when the U.S. studios will routinely spend $3 million or more an hour."
Reality shows are cheaper to produce and viewers don't expect them to be celebrity-laden. Canada has now launched so many successful specialty channels that a strong talent pool of producers and creators has developed here, said Barrett.
Still, he said a top 10 that featured eight Canadian shows was significant even for a specialty network. "They should be very proud of themselves," he said.
Holmes says the decision to join HGTV came down to the opportunity to educate Canadians. On "Holmes on Homes," which ran between 2001 and 2008, he visited families who had been cheated or deserted during their home renovations.
"There's no doubt that at the time HGTV took a huge risk bringing out 'Holmes on Homes.' They were very afraid of that, because I was throwing big blocks through glass windows. They thought, 'Oh my god, we're going to get sued,'" said Holmes, 51.
Once his show became a massive hit — it was once the highest-rated show on the network — executives at both HGTV and other specialty channels took notice, he said.
"There were a lot of people who tried to copy. Then there was smart stuff, like Bryan Baeumler and Scott McGillivray. They're not actors. They're not afraid of the camera. They're being themselves. So I think this started a whole new way of doing television production."
He went on to launch "Holmes Inspection," which profiles botched home inspections, and "Holmes Make it Right," in which he renovates disaster-struck homes. His kids Michael and Sherry have become regular fixtures on his shows and his latest father-son team-up "Mike's Ultimate Garage" will air Sept. 1.
McGillivray, 36, looks the part of a television host more than other HGTV stars but is a full-time real estate investor. As the host of "Income Property," he helps homeowners renovate properties to include rental suites.
The show was a tough sell at first because "no one else was saying the word 'rent' on TV," he said. But now it airs in over 40 countries and McGillivray sees tweets and Facebook messages from fans from all over the world — Spain, Korea, Costa Rica, Thailand.
"Filming the majority of the show in Toronto is definitely an advantage. It's such a multicultural city that we have people from all over the world here," he said.
"I'm not keeping track, but I know that a lot of the time when we have somebody who speaks a foreign language, I always say, 'How do you say 'cheques to the bank' in Korean?' Then the show will end up airing in that country and people will write in and say, 'Your Korean is hilarious.'"
McGillivray's show, like others on HGTV, is aspirational — fans tell him they like to watch not only for the design and construction elements, but because they want to learn more about real estate investment.
He was acutely aware that the 2008 housing crash might put a damper on his show. But people kept tuning in, and McGillivray firmly believes he provides a realistic way for middle-class Canadians to get rich.
"I always say that real estate is the everyday person's way into becoming wealthy," he said. "If you're investing in the stock market, it takes a lot of money to make money. In real estate, because of leverage, the average individual can make significant returns if they know what they're doing."
Baeumler, meanwhile, joked that his series "Leave it to Bryan" should be renamed "The Bad News Bryan Show." In the series, which returns for a new season Monday, homeowners allow Baeumler to decide which renovation they need most.
While they may crave a home theatre or granite kitchen counters, he often finds an under-the-surface defect that is more worthy of a fix. He said his fans — which are also spread out in dozens of countries all over the globe — are drawn to the idea of someone else making the tough call.
"Everybody has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The devil is whispering, 'You need a big-screen TV and a man cave and to turn the garage into a shop.' Whereas the angel is saying, 'You should really fix that single-pane window,'" said Baeumler.
"I think everybody knows deep down what they should do... I think occasionally we need someone to come in and take the stress out of making the decision, to make the right decision for us."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ice, Ice Baby

Yesterday on the Global News Morning Show, several of Global News' biggest names took the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness for ALS. Just before getting a bucket full of ice and freezing cold water dumped over his head, Anthony Robart challenged none other than Mike Holmes to do the same! Watch the video here.

It was confirmed today that the deed has been done. Mike Holmes has completed the ice bucket challenge. We are currently awaiting photographic evidence of the deed. Until then, we have no choice but to take Mike's word and will give him the benefit of the doubt that he took it like a man...

Edit: Well folks, here it is! Proof that Mike not only completed the ice bucket challenge, but did so in style! And with minimal cursing!

Just before the drop. Photo courtesy of Ben DaPonte:


 Some behind the scenes photos from Mike's Facebook page:

And just who did Mike nominate to be the next victim participant? Why, everyone of course, including the Prime Minister of Canada. Go big or go home!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mike's Ultimate Garage -- September 1 on HGTV

A new two-hour special is set to air on HGTV (Canada) featuring Mike Holmes and his son Mike Holmes Jr as they work together to build the ultimate man space. "Mike's Ultimate Garage" is set to air September 1, and will take viewers through Mike Holmes' vision for the perfect garage. After scrutinizing every detail, Mike turns the reigns over to his son and allows him carte blanche to build. Finally, after over 10 years, Mike Holmes will get to know what it feels like to be on the outside of the project looking in!


Mike’s Ultimate Garage airs September 1 on HGTV
August 12, 2014 Diane Wild

From a media release:


•Mike Holmes Hands Over the Reins in the One-Night Television Event Mike’s Ultimate Garage September 1st at 8pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada

Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor, Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes and Holmes Makes It Right) trusts his son Mike Jr. to build his dream garage in Mike’s Ultimate Garage, premiering Monday, September 1st at 8pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada. This two-hour special follows the father and son duo through every tough lesson and hard-earned victory, as Mike Jr. learns there’s no blueprint when it comes to working with family.

Mike has envisioned his state-of-the-art man cave for years and is ready to make it a reality. With the foundation and block frame in place, Mike turns the jobsite over to Mike Jr., but that doesn’t mean he won’t be around to scrutinize every nail and screw. This is Mike Jr.’s biggest challenge yet as he manages both an intricate build and the growing expectations of his father, an all-star contractor who has made a career out of doing it right the first time.
With the support of the Holmes crew and sister Sherry, Mike Jr. races against mother nature to complete the garage before winter. In the final days, Mike Jr. bans his father from the garage to add a few personal touches and some seriously cool technology. For the first time in his career, Mike must wait on the sidelines for the final reveal.

To watch Mike’s Ultimate Garage, new episodes of Holmes Makes It Right and other behind-the-scenes exclusives, visit

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In Memory of Craig Lowe

On Sunday it was announced that Craig Lowe, Mike's dear friend and colleague, passed away suddenly. Craig Lowe had been working with Mike on his shows since the early days of Holmes on Homes. Every fan of Mike's knows who Craig is and respects him as a true professional. For more information, please see Rest In Peace Craig Lowe.

The Holmes Spot would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the Lowe family. I can't imagine the devastation they feel right now. In my belief system, we mourn with those who mourn and weep with those who weep, and the entire community of Mike's fans and those who appreciate the hard work of dedicated craftsmen are mourning with them. Our sincerest prayers and love for all of Craig's family and friends.

Craig Lowe's Obituary was made public today:

CRAIG LOWE October 28, 1972 to August 2, 2014 Treasure hunter, lover of life and a passionate adventure seeker. We lost Craig much sooner than we should have. Craig was always smiling, kind and fired up about whatever life was bringing next. His energy was contagious and never-ending. His children were everything to him and they lit up his life. Amazing husband to Kaley and wonderful father to Sydney, Alexa, Ryley and Lainey. Beloved brother of Kristi, son of Don and Jacquie Lowe, son-in-law of Gail and Alex Gray and grandson of Jack and Eileen Finan. A celebration of his life will take place on Monday, August 18, 2014 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Turtle Creek Golf Course at 11660 Guelph Line, Campbellville, L0P 1B0. Please wear casual and colourful clothes, he would have wanted it this way. In lieu of flowers or donations, please consider sending your best story, memory, picture or video of Craig at any age to: [email removed by THS to prevent bot spam. Visit original link to view.] We will use them to create a memory book for his children. You may submit more than one, as we know some of you have lots! We would like to have them all.

Here's an article from the Toronto Sun regarding Mike Holmes' reaction to Craig Lowe's passing:
Mike Holmes 'blown away' by pal's scuba diving death
7:10 am, August 5th, 2014


    TORONTO -- Television personality Mike Holmes says he's "blown away" by the death of his friend in a weekend scuba diving incident accident.
    John (Craig) Lowe, 41, a Mississauga, Ontario house painter and frequent guest on the popular television show Holmes on Homes was found dead Saturday off the coast of Nova Scotia.
    "He was an avid scuba diver, he loved it, he was a professional at it so this doesn't make any sense to us at all," Holmes, 51, said.
    Holmes spoke from his boat where he was spending the long weekend celebrating his birthday with family.
    "It's terribly tragic. When I woke up yesterday morning and found my daughter crying telling me happy birthday and I knew something was wrong," Holmes said.
    The longtime friends met while working on a job 15 years ago, before the television series.
    Lowe worked with Holmes completing painting on many projects. Over the years, they went on white water-rafting trips and to the Muskoka cottage of Lowe's mother-in-law.
    When the television show began, Lowe's relationship with Holmes led him to become a prominent guest.
    "He was on the very first show and he has painted almost every single home on the show," Holmes said.
    His talent as a painter and his desire to teach people about his craft made him a popular guest on the show, according to Holmes.
    "He's got a big heart; he wants to help other people, he wants to educate other people so he was really good in front of the camera," Holmes said. "Everyone loved the guy."
    Lowe had been diving for 20 years and travelled to pursue the sport, Holmes said.
    He added Lowe went to Nova Scotia to dive in Aspy Bay with a friend in search artifacts from a French shipwreck.
    Lowe had many friends who were also divers, including his wife, and much of the Holmes on Homes crew. Holmes never had the opportunity to dive with him.
    "I wish I had," Holmes said.
    Lowe leaves behind a wife and four daughters. A funeral is expected to take place in the GTA by the end of the week. Holmes will be closing his business for the day so that all his employees can attend.

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Rest In Peace Craig Lowe

    It's the last piece of news we ever want to hear, let alone on our birthday. Mike Holmes announced today that his dear friend and colleague Craig Lowe passed away in a scuba diving accident late yesterday evening. Craig was Mike's go-to painter since the early days of Holmes on Homes. About a year ago, Craig helped Mike launch and served as the director of the Holmes Referred program. Craig was one of Mike's most respected sub-contractors, and he will be missed terribly by all.

    (Originally posted September 2012)

    From Mike's Facebook page:

    Today I received tragic news that Craig Lowe, a good friend and fellow tradesmen, died in an accident on the coast of Cape Breton while pursuing his passion of scuba diving. I have been working with Craig since day one of Holmes On Homes. He was a generous, dedicated and talented man who was always willing to lend a hand. My heart goes out to his wife and his daughters, he will be greatly missed.

    From the CBC:

    Scuba diver dies off Cape Breton coast
    John "Craig" Lowe's body found in about four metres of water
    Aug 03, 2014 1:54 PM AT
    CBC News

    A 41-year-old man died after he disappeared while scuba diving alone in Cape Breton on Saturday night, according to Nova Scotia police.
    Ingonish RCMP say they were contacted around 10 p.m. by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre when John "Craig" Lowe of Mississauga, Ont., failed to return from his dive.
    RCMP Const. Eric Latwaitis says the Coast Guard, local fishermen, volunteer fire departments and local community members searched the shoreline and waters.
    "It's a very close-knit community. So when a community is on the water they realize how fast a tragedy can happen. So it's actually a very standard response," he said.
    Police say the man was diving alone in the Dingwall - Aspy Bay area, about 300 metres from shore and about 15 metres deep.
    His body was recovered from the water just before midnight 12 metres from his anchored boat in about four metres of water.
    Latwaitis says the man was an experienced diver and had already gone out diving with a friend earlier that day.
    "My understanding is that's one of the golden rules in diving. You don't dive alone," he said.
    "But he wanted to go out for one last dive."
    An autopsy has been ordered.

    Edit: I sent a short email expressing my condolences to the email address listed on Craig Lowe's professional website, and this is the auto response I received back. Please keep the Lowe family in your thoughts and prayers.

    Ontario scuba diver’s death in Cape Breton waters a mystery


    Published August 3, 2014 - 12:21pm

    Last Updated August 3, 2014 - 5:48pm

    Craig Lowe was regular on Holmes on Homes renovation show

    Craig Lowe of Mississauga, in a screen grab from a YouTube video on painting, has been identified as the
    diver who died in waters off Dingwall in Cape Breton Saturday night. Lowe, owner of Lowe Painting, was
    once a regular on the Holmes on Homes renovation series. (YOUTUBE)

    Johnnie Fitzgerald says no one knows why John Craig Lowe, a 41-year-old man from Mississauga, Ont.,
    died suddenly Saturday night while scuba diving alone in the ocean off Markland Beach in northern Cape
    Fitzgerald, a fisherman and a diver from Dingwall, said Lowe was an experienced diver and the water and
    weather conditions in Aspy Bay were good at the time.
    “He was on the bottom,” said Fitzgerald, one of the local fishermen who was on a rescue boat that found
    Lowe, who went by Craig.
    “He never got his gear off. To me, it seems like something ... medical. Being in that shallow water, usually
    you just let your weight belt go and rise right to the surface.”
    Lowe was owner operator of Lowe Painting and made regular appearances as the painting expert on Holmes
    on Homes.
    Mike Holmes commented on Lowe's death on Twitter.
    “Today I received tragic news that Craig Lowe, a good friend, died in an accident while pursuing his passion
    of scuba diving.”
    Baddeck RCMP Const. Eric Latwaitis said a man was reported missing around 10 p.m. Saturday, launching
    a brief search by the Canadian Coast Guard, local fishermen, volunteer fire departments from the area and
    community members.
    Lowe’s dive boat was found anchored about 300 metres from shore and his body was recovered at around
    11:40 p.m., about 13 metres from the vessel.
    RCMP identified the man Sunday afternoon as John Lowe.
    Fitzgerald said Lowe had been diving with three others earlier Saturday around St. Paul Island and he wasn’t
    ready to call it a day.
    He said divers know never to dive alone, but they sometimes do so in shallow, clear water.
    Fitzgerald said the other divers, including one of Fitzgerald’s brothers, went ashore on Saturday and Lowe
    decided to dive in about four metres of clear water. He wanted to look for artifacts from the Auguste, a French
    privateer that went down in a storm in Aspy Bay in 1761.
    Divers have spent years searching for the gold and silver treasures reportedly carried by the Auguste and its
    Fitzgerald said Aspy Bay, a wide inlet that faces the North Atlantic Ocean and often gets hit by storms and
    strong tides, still gives up relics from the Auguste.
    “Every time you get a big storm around here, it’s the best time to go,” he said. “It changes the bottom.”
    Scott MacKinnon, chief of the Cabot Volunteer Fire Department, said that while the many shipwrecks in
    Aspy Bay make it an attractive dive site, it’s rare for the fire department to deal with a call there.
    “We had a call last week for a missing windsurfer, but he was found,” said MacKinnon.
    “We get a fair amount of divers here, but this is the first time we’ve been called for a diver.”
    Fitzgerald said Lowe leaves behind a wife and two young children.
    On Sunday, Latwaitis said RCMP are continuing to investigate the death. An autopsy will be performed in
    Halifax and Lowe’s diving gear will be examined there by the RCMP’s underwater recovery unit.
    In recent years, three other men have died while scuba diving off Nova Scotia. A Halifax man died in June
    2013 near Halifax, a Baddeck man died in September 2012 while diving in the Bras d’Or Lake, and a
    Dartmouth man died in July 2012 in waters off Lunenburg County.

    From the Cape Brenton Post:

    John (Craig) Lowe of Mississauga, Ont., shown in a YouTube video screen capture. Lowe, 41, went missing last night while scuba diving alone in Aspy Bay. His body was discovered soon after.

    UPDATED: Ontario scuba diver’s body recovered from Aspy Bay
    T.J. Colello
    Published on August 03, 2014

    UPDATED: Craig Lowe of Mississauga was a regular on Holmes on Homes
    DINGWALL, N.S. — RCMP are investigating the death of 41-year-old scuba diver John (Craig) Lowe of
    Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday.
    Lowe was diving alone in the Aspy Bay near Dingwall. He was reported missing to RCMP at 10 p.m., two
    hours overdue. His body was found at about 11:40 p.m., about 40 feet from his boat in water 12-15 feet deep.
    The boat was 900 feet from shore.
    “He was out diving with buddies and had done two or three previous dives during the day,” said Const. Eric
    Latwaitis of the Baddeck RCMP. “He wanted to go for a last dive and went by himself.
    “The water conditions and the weather wasn’t overly choppy or anything of concern.”
    Lowe, who went by Craig, was a professional painter by trade who owned and operated Lowe Painting in
    Mississauga. He regularly appeared on the Holmes on Homes television show.
    “(Sunday) I received tragic news that Craig Lowe, a good friend, died in an accident while pursuing his passion
    of scuba diving,” the show’s host, Mike Holmes, said on his Twitter page.
    “Craig was a generous and talented man who was always willing to lend a hand. My heart goes out to his wife
    and his daughters, he will be missed,” Holmes added in another tweet.
    RCMP, the local Coast Guard auxiliary, fishermen and volunteer fire departments searched where the man’s
    diving boat was anchored. Residents searched the nearby shoreline.
    Latwaitis said Lowe’s death isn’t considered suspicious by RCMP. The diver’s equipment will be examined for
    mechanical malfunction, and the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service will complete an autopsy to determine a
    cause of death.

    Additional articles:
    Mississauga man dies scuba diving in Nova Scotia
    41-year-old man dies while scuba diving off northern Cape Breton
    Police investigating sudden death of Mississauga scuba diver in Cape Breton
    Scuba diver dies Saturday night while exploring waters off Dingwall

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    Happy Birthday Mike Holmes 2014!

    Mike's birthday is August 3. So why am I posting this on August 1? Simply this, because August 3 is a Sunday this year, and also because I'm currently out of town right now attending a family event and I'm not sure if I'll have the chance to post this on Sunday!

    I had so much fun making this video, which is my birthday gift to Mike. It got a little stressfull there at the end as we were trying to beat a thunderstorm that was rolling in from the south, but we got out of there just in time! Mike does so much to help other people, through not only his work on houses, but also by educating people to make better choices. He's taught me and inspired me so much over the years, I just wish there was a bigger way to give back!

    We here at the Holmes Spot want to wish Mike the happiest of birthdays! We wish Mike nothing but health and happiness this next year and for many years to come. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!