Saturday, March 28, 2015

BEN

With one foot in Canada, another back in China, Ben Wang is a frequent flyer who is constantly on the move. He works in a business as old as the material he loves - natural stone.

He loves to talk about the personality, the beauty and the character of natural stone. For Ben, this ancient material is a moment in geological time for everyone to connect with and enjoy. Whatever the form, it is like civic sculpture for all to admire.

He is a supplier of beautiful stone, always custom cut, some laser etched. From the huge black marble Gibson House laser-etched stone mural in north Toronto, to the sweeping salt & pepper granite curbs in downtown Toronto. His stone adorns some of the great condo projects all over the city.

With an easy laugh and and a fine cigar always ready, Ben blends his traditional Chinese love of stone forms with contemporary installations in parks, condominium architecture and the Toronto Pan Am athletes village.

BEN FUN FACT: No matter what the occasion, a visit to a construction site, or a meeting with developers, Ben always wears crazy coloured socks! It makes him happy!


Friday, March 27, 2015

BILL

Passion is a word most throw about to describe something close to us - another person, an interest or a cause - then all too often it is gone. But for Bill Schiller, his life is passionate. His interests, loves and causes are life long.

Bill was born in Windsor, Ontario in 1951 and moved to Toronto in 1984 to work as a reporter for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. It is at the Star he honed his story telling skills and delved deeper into issues he was most passionate about.

He is interested in issues involving social justice, democracy and human rights. He loves a good story, both hearing them and telling them. He also loves the entree that comes with being a journalist: the ability to go anywhere, contact anyone, and ask anything. 

As a foreign correspondent for 15 years, he has covered such events as the release of Nelson Mandela, the death of Diana, the sieges of Sarajevo and Srebrenica, and 9/11 among others. He has lived in and worked from South Africa and Beijing as the Star’s bureau chief, always pushing the envelope to bring gripping stories to the paper and digging deep into the issues that affected people’s lives.

While on the road and often away, Bill has always been supported by, and is most passionate about his partner and spouse, Mary. 


BILL FUN FACT: In another life he was a gardener for  a year in St. Tropez and used to play bridge a couple of nights a week at Hotel Le Yaca with the owner Louie.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Thursday, March 26, 2015

FRANCESCO

Francesco Russo's light blue eyes dance when he speaks of being born in Calabria. He was born in the the picturesque "toe" of Italy, but moved to Canada in 1972 after visiting as a tourist. Francesco had a sister living in Canada, so thought this would be a good move also.

He has always worked construction, even at the age of 13, Francesco was operating a dragline excavator in Italy! Its in his blood and he loves it.

For the past 41years, he has been working for Coreydale Excavating where he feels at home. He quickly breaks into a broad leathery smile as he rhymes off many of the large projects he has been involved with.  He has worked many feature condo builds for Daniels corporation, like the one where he stands in this photo on the site of the old Guvernment night club on Toronto's waterfront.

A father of two, and grandfather of two, Francesco's lively spirit is friendly, warm and engaging. He chuckles when I ask him about his fun fact.

FRANCESCO FUN FACT: "I used to collect rocks" he says laughing, "nature put them there, and I take them out and give them to people". These are not fist or mellon-sized rocks. These beautiful boulders, you guessed it, need and excavator! It gives him great satisfaction when he sees the boulders adorning in front of people's homes.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DAVE

Born in the American heartland city of Dayton, Ohio, Dave McMillan is a man with an equally big heart.

Searching out other connections to his birthplace, he was disappointed to only find Les Nessman of WKRP fame was raised there. It got worse! Searching then for people with similar birthdays, he was not entirely thrilled to find he shared a birthday with Michael Jackson!

When young David was 11, he and his family were living in central Florida on 100 acres when his father died suddenly. The family’s only other relatives lived way up north in Toronto, Canada! Soon, they pulled stakes and settled into the Toronto suburb of North York.

David went away to boarding school at Ridley College in St. Catharines after which he attended the University of Toronto, then York University for his MBA.

Dave began helping people as a financial advisor 20 years ago, guiding his loyal clients through the morass of financial planning, to a place of financial security in their later years.

The McMillans enjoy travelling together with their 11 year old daughter, Chloe and showing her the world.

DAVE FUN FACT: Dave has a sophisticated palate, “I will eat almost anything, at least once” he says as he reflects over the witchetty grubs from Australia, alligator, emu, snake, grasshopper, eels and many other delights!


… time for lunch!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DREW

Born in Toronto's east end, Drew works for a gold mining firm with mines internationally.

When this horrendous winter is over, Drew hits the bike with friends for cycling and mountain biking. He is getting married in a few months so is pretty busy preparing for the big day in June.

DREW FUN FACT: Drew is a self-professed wannabe handyman, "I try to fix a lot of things but end up breaking them more"!


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN



Monday, March 23, 2015

SERENA

Serena Loy is as serene as her name suggests. Seen here at Fuji Canada, she is enjoying a year long marketing internship, "I love my time here". 

Born in Mississauga, not far from her work placement, she can also be found working out at the gym. As well, she enjoys working out her poetry chops in coffee houses or at other poetry events. This literary and artistic side gives balance to her marketing side as she enjoys writing spoken word poetry.

SERENA FUN FACT: Come September, she will be studying abroad in Rouen, France, just outside Paris for a semester. Never having travelled outside North America, she is trés excited! It is her goal to become a master of French before returning to Canada. Adieu, mon ami!


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Sunday, March 22, 2015

LUCKY 13 (outtake)

I almost missed this image of the group Hello. These 13 people, many who didn't know each other, gathered in the Eaton Centre in Toronto on a cold Sunday in January before the No Pants Subway Ride event.

After shooting most of these people individually, they took a few minutes to pose for this group shot before heading down to track level and enjoying this year's event in the subway.

If you should recognize anyone in the photo, please pass this post along to them!

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN