Saturday, February 28, 2015

ANDREW

The year that saw Dolly Parton's 9 to5 and Police's De Do Do Do, De Da Da, 1981 was also the year Andrew Major was born in Toronto. Not sure what the zodiac symbol for that year was, but suffice it to say, there were some some diverse stars to lull baby Andrew to sleep in his crib!

Andrew went to school for business and now works in one of the world’s oldest professions: stone! Living and working in Toronto, he is the only native Canadian working for Sanicolstone, a Chinese fine stone supplier. Each day he works with developers, designers and contractors to bring the beauty of granite, marble and other stone to life in Toronto’s condominiums, civic spaces and other locations.

It is a rare perk to be able to go back to something you have helped bring to life. Andrew has a few such places including the almost complete, Gibson House, black stone wall, a massive laser-etched mural depicting a scene from the 1800’s. 

“Being able to work with the most talented artists/designers from around the world on their projects is what drivers me every day”.

In addition to Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Japan, Thailand and other destinations, Andrew is a frequent visitor to Sanicolstone’s offices in China, sometime flying there 3-4 times a year. “To travel the world and do business globally, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else”.

Cooper is Andrew’s 6 year old husky who often rides with him to job sites in Toronto. With his snow white hair catching the wind as they drive, Cooper can often be found with his head out the window of their pickup truck as they visit sites where their stone is being fitted and finished.

Cooper is a sophisticated companion who compliments his kibble with treats such as sushi, although a good beef bone is always welcome! Rounding out his day, he thrives on his daily 10km walks and napping to jazz and classical music! 

ANDREW FUN FACT: He is a big kid at heart and loves the outdoors and exploring the planet. He finds peace in cooking and tasting foods from around the world. A true omnivore, he has never met a dish he hasn’t liked.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN











Friday, February 27, 2015

IMAN

To serve and protect. This could be Iman Noor's life's work. We may see her in uniform on the streets of Toronto, bringing to our community, the understanding of a wider community.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Iman grew up in Kuwait where her mother is from. Her family moved to Toronto in 2009 seeking a better future and opportunity. For Iman, it has been an opportunity to learn, express herself and find her goal in life.

Ask Iman about her volunteering and she lights up - even brighter! She is a dedicated volunteer at the Hope Place Of Community, a recreation facility for those with developmental challenges. Her relaxed demeanour and style is comforting and engaging, a perfect combination to nurture and help those for whom she cares.

This fall, she will realize her new path and passion. She has enrolled in college for policing. With Iman's current roll as security staff at a downtown condominium, plus her active roll as one who cares for others, she will be an asset to any police force.

IMAN FUN FACT: Contrasts are another of Iman's characteristics. Balancing her drive to become a police officer, Iman also has a passion for dance which began as a younger person in Kuwait where she learned to belly dance. After moving to Canada, she has also become an avid hip hop, dance hall and krump dancer!


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SARAH

From Red Lake, Ontario, Sarah McCombe beams as she and her fiancĂ©e meet their photographer to discuss photos for their upcoming October wedding. 

Moving around a lot growing up, she is happy to be two years in Toronto and settled. Sarah is a pharmacist at the Saint Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto's west end by the lake.

SARAH FUN FACT: Despite one of her many moves in Honduras, she still finds time and space to enjoy her knitting.


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN



HUDSON

Not necessarily named after the Hudson Motor Company, this Hudson is using his words to tell the adults enough is enough, no more talking... he wants to go in to the Canadian International Auto Show!

Hudson is here in Toronto with his father and grandfather, continuing the tradition of attending the auto show each year since the 1980's. 

Every morning he wakes up and excitedly says, "car, truck". So it is no surprise he has a future with automobiles somehow. He is starting his love of cars early. 

HUDSON FUN FACT: He makes it his duty to chase the family cat around the house at least once a day - but always with a car or truck in his hand!


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SANDRA

With a song in her heart and sometimes in the hallways of school, Sandra Simons will often sing in the hallways of school.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario but living in St. Catharines for the last 38 years, Sandra is a wife, a mom and a grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter. Family is all important to her. Her time with children is precious. With family she loves to loves to bake, cook and do arts and crafts. As well, at the school where she is a dedicated and active volunteer. She spends her time at school helping children with their math, reading, socializing, writing and giving hugs when needed!

“I believe life is to short and I try to make the best out of everyday.” We should all have a Sandra in our lives! The children under her care benefit from her open and warm heart


SANDRA FUN FACT: Walking down the hallways of school while the students are in class, she will spontaneously break into song. Sometimes, she will hear a student whisper, “There goes our silly Mrs. Simons”. With a smile, she continues on.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Monday, February 23, 2015

BARRY HASTINGS

HELP WANTED: Ontario Hydro in Canada seeks engineer.

The 1970s in Cardiff, Wales was a tough time. The UK’s downturn in the economy was saw many out of work and was equally hard on professionals. The young engineer, Barry Hastings saw the above want ad in the Telegraph, for a position with Ontario Hydro. He got the job in 1972. And as they say, the rest is history.

And what a history it has been!

Married 45 years, Barry has a son, a grandson and has much to teach and inspire. The man is a machine! He raced bikes, ran triathlons and competed in 12 Ironman competitions, finishing 10 of them. 

BARRY FUN FACT: Though he does not race any longer, he does have a collection of vintage bikes. If those bikes could talk!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN







Sunday, February 22, 2015

LIANG LILI

Lili has lived in Beijing for 10 years. For the past seven years, she observed and reported on the people and hot issues in this fast changing and ever expanding mega city with a keen news eye. Stories of ordinary people and their situations are her favourite subject. Their stories are anything but ordinary. "The struggle of maintaining peace and dignity behind making tough life choices always fascinates me." Lili believes small is beautiful and focuses on the details which easily connects people to the larger world. 

Lili worked with the Toronto Star’s Asia Bureau in Beijing for five years as well as a Canadian television network and other news services.

Lili is an avid reader and traveler. She has visited more than ten countries and is used to traveling solo. Recently she has been spending more time reading and on her own personal growth. "I call it my journey inside. Being outside wondering in the big city too long, I feel a bit disconnected with my inner self, I decided to take the journey inside to get close to who I really am."

LILI FUN FACT: Recently, a distant friend she had not seen for eight years said she looked younger than the first time they met. As well, an uncle who hadn't seen her for several years said the same thing. Maybe there is a film plot in this!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN