“I was born and raised in Toronto, but went to Carleton University in Ottawa from 1986 to 1990. I couldn’t wait to leave the capital because I thought it was the town that fun forgot. I never thought I’d come back.
After school, I went home to Toronto and spent years building my career in marketing and the IT sector. I got a job with the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto, and then I met my partner Richard, who worked in Ottawa for the government. We dated long-distance for a year or two, but then we decided I’d move here, and that was almost 10 years ago.
My current role at RBC is the regional director of marketing and citizenship. It’s a really fulfilling job for me because I get to work for a big corporation that has a good brand. You get to meet really interesting people, have really interesting conversations.
Whether it’s entrepreneur training at Ottawa Public Housing or working with colleges and universities on getting students better prepared for the workplace of tomorrow, you can really have an impact and do good work.
When you can invest over a couple million dollars a year in the communities where you live, you get to see the impact of those programs, but also where the need is greatest. It’s really fulfilling from a career perspective.
Recently, I worked on a project where we partnered with the Royal Ottawa Hospital to bring telepsychiatry services to Algonquin College and the Youth Services Bureau. We care deeply about bettering the lives of kids and youth in Ottawa, and every year we support a race for CHEO that raises funds for youth mental health.
Community is a passion of mine, and over the last couple of years, Richard and I have helped new Canadians settle in Ottawa. We helped a gay man from Honduras settle, and we helped a widow and her two children from Syria settle in the community.
I have lived in Westboro for just over four years [with Richard] and, before that, lived in Gatineau. I love the lifestyle in Kitchissippi. It’s a beautiful place to live with access to the water. In the summer, we like to go kayaking off of Westboro Beach.
In the beginning of December, we moved, but only about 300 metres away because we love the community so much. We are going to spend the summer redecorating and getting our garden ready. We also bike down to the beach frequently and go cross-country skiing there in the winter.
We have great access to amenities with so many shops and boutique-like stores on Richmond and elsewhere. When we are home, we rarely get into our car because we don’t have to. It’s a pretty easy place to live.
I do consider myself a baker. I hate cooking, but I love baking. I think I’m pretty good at it. I’m not an attention-to-detail person, and with baking, you need to [be], but for some reason I can pull it off. I took up making macaroons, which isn’t hard, but they are finicky to make. I’m slowly mastering them.”
Story collected by Charlie Senack