Meet Vahil Reftar.
“My parents were eager to start their lives as new Canadians after escaping the various dangers of their homelands: war, violence, dictatorship governments, and religious persecution. They wanted to live in a land that was safe and free, one where they could start a family. I was born in Manitoba shortly after my parents arrived in Canada. After a few years, my parents and I moved to Ottawa.
“Growing up, we went through our share of hard times. My dad eventually got a job as a long distance truck driver, so usually it was only my mom and me at home for long periods of time. Back then, my mom didn’t speak much English, so 10-11-year-old me quickly learned the various responsibilities that grownups had to worry about: paying bills, keeping track of expenses, managing a budget, etc. Turns out I really enjoyed doing those business-like responsibilities and it’s something I wanted to pursue and learn more about. When I started high school and I had some choice in what classes to take, the choices were easy. The choice for what to take in college was even easier.
“I’m currently working as a supply manager with the Department of National Defence, a job which started out as a co-op opportunity at Algonquin College. Shortly after graduating, I was bridged in as an indeterminate and I’ve been working there ever since.
“As for the future, I’m hoping to save up enough to buy a house for myself and my parents. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a place to call my own. After living in the same apartment ever since moving to Ottawa, I’m ready for a change. I will say this though: I’ll miss Westboro.” Collected by Ellen Bond
Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our collection of humans right here.