Saturday, June 13, 2015


Unlike Rolling Stones musician, Keith Richards, Jaymes Stephen was comfortable in the tree and did not fall out! Its a musician thing, and Jaymes knows a thing of two about the music industry.

Born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1992, Jaymes took Music Business Management at Durham College in Oshawa. His third and final year was an intern year where he worked with Rooftop Agency and had many clients with whom he worked including ACDC. One of the more memorable things Jaymes had to do for ACDC was to source a military tank to drive around the streets of downtown Toronto! Strangely enough, one is not really allowed to drive a tank in the city, so a large military troop truck had to suffice for that gig!

After graduation, over the last three years, he has been running his own event company booking bands, holding concerts and throwing CD release parties for clients. A songwriter and musician, Jaymes also has his own band where he plays guitar and is lead vocalist.

JAYMES FUN FACT: He used to work for President's Choice, Superdogs, the dog agility and performance team. In Toronto, Superdogs is always a huge attraction at the Royal Winter Fair. Jaymes laughs as he recalls the dogs suddenly stopping in their routine to relieve themselves!


Friday, June 12, 2015


"I wish we were driving in a truck." Constable Clinton Stibbe says as we raced up beside a car to peer over and see if the driver was using a cell phone. If we were in a higher vehicle we could have looked down into the car to see if he was texting. We suspected he was, but could't prove it and kept driving.

Such was the drive-along with the mild-mannered Stibbe who, in his mid 40s, he is no push-over. For years he worked enforcement, but now is more the face of Toronto police's Traffic Services' Media Relations.

"They do say that everyone has on average, three careers throughout their life," Stibbe says of his decision to go into policing. "I'm on number two. I was, and still am, a licensed class-A mechanic." His experience with automobiles has served him well in reconstructing motor vehicle collisions and accidents as well as working other parts parts of the traffic services division. The police are looking for recruits who have life experience and know how to deal with the public. As a mature recruit, he was not alone. 

A father of two, he is keeping tabs on his daughter who is just learning to drive and has many questions. "Will she make mistakes? Sure, but I hope they will be minor ones," he says of young people learning to drive.

CLINTON FUN FACT: After pulling over a vehicle for speeding, Clinton was outside his vehicle and about to walk the ticket over to the driver. Another car, coming up behind the parked car, veers over onto the shoulder trying to get around it. The vehicle looses control and swerves head-on into Constable Stibbe hitting him.

While this is not exactly "fun", he does smile while recalling his potential last moment saying, "This is really going to suck!" Injured, but alive, and not the first time being struck on duty, he is full of life, loves his job and truly does care for those he has pledged to serve and protect.

CLINTON QUOTE: Of his views on life experiences: "We are becoming book smart, but not life smart"


Thursday, June 11, 2015


It was not hard to spot her as she weaved between the rows of parked trucks and cars in the lot. The simple long black dress and flowing mint green & floral chiffon top bestowed on Jesse Sousa the air of the fashion designer which she has become.

Born in Mississauga in 1989, Jesse took the fashion design programme at George Brown College. "I recently graduated, so I'm still trying to figure stuff out," she says, absently tracing her fingers along the soft drapery of the colourful top she made.

Her laughter turns to a determined look as she describes her aspirations of creating her own fashion line. Having interned with designers, she is now ready to go forward. She is focused and sees using social media and the internet as the best way to display her designs and reach into the global fashion market.

With other interests in photography and painting and drawing, Jesse is inspired and creative in other ways which all contribute to her role of an emerging women's clothing designer.

JESSE FUN FACT: A dog lover, she is always on the look out. She cannot resist the temptation of stopping to admire and pet each dog she meets. After photographing her this evening, she spots a handsome Australian Shephard not far away and feels the pull to go over and introduce herself. But for now, we keep walking... smiling, she turns her head back towards the dog – who is also looking back toward Jesse.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Who knew under a fetid overpass of an industrial backwash in downtown Toronto, a skateboard park, like the rest of the area, would one day become a pilgrimage for skaters? Its called Underpass Park and as the name suggests, it is tucked under the deep steel beams and concrete columns of the Richmond underpass.

Two skaters, Jesse Stains and his friend Jacob Apps, both from Uxbridge, Ontario have made the trip to Toronto's Underpass Park to ride the rails, test their jump skills and enjoy the park with other skaters.

Jesse, a heavy machinery operator driving loaders and excavators for an aggregate company found out about this park through word on the internet and thought they'd come check it out. when he's not working he hangs out with friends and relaxing. 

JESSE FUN FACT: Just for the hell of it, on day he jumped of the roof of a two story house! Asked why, "Just for the fun" he says, proud that he was unhurt. 

Jacob Apps, dripping with sweat from trying to perfect a complicated jump recently completed electrical engineering at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. He is working for the summer and figuring out his next moves going forward in his career.

JACOB FUN FACT: While at Killbear Provincial Park, he inched along one of the very narrow ledge above the deep water of Georgian Bay to successfully land a front flip of a 40' cliff.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Demonstrating the need to be flexible and creative in the demanding world of advertising, Madison Turner thinks nothing of hanging out in a doorway under her office.

Born in London, Ontario, Madison completed the Humber College, Graphic Design Advanced programme. She is Art Director at the advertising agency, Rain 43. Together with a writing partner, she works to develop concepts and push the creative envelope, taking their clients into new and exciting directions using new media and technology while exploring innovatve creative strategies.

Madison lives a stone's throw away from the office where, when she's not making it 'rain' at work, she hangs out with her dogs and her friends. Having a life-long interest in bikes, she also has a fondness for adopting old and mistreated bicycles, repairing them, breathing new life into them and giving them away. Madison is also a huge fan of documentaries through which she learns a lot about issues and the world. "It empowers me to want to do something, and I find that so great" she says of the power of a documentary film.

MADISON FUN FACT: A the age of 12, Madison and her family moved to a working farm in Granton, Ontario for 10 years. She loved the emersion into life with cows, pigs, chickens and rural living. After high school, she left the farm for a different kind of wildlife in Toronto.


Monday, June 8, 2015


It is a perfect day to post Cristina and Sean's bright, sunny and happy photo in Toronto seeing as the city is drowning in unrelenting torrents of rain. This image is taken at Toronto's downtown east historic Distillery District a few days ago.

From Toronto, Christina works for the CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce). "I'm in banking. I do business development, I get to talk to people all day and work in the community which is wonderful" she proudly says of her role with the bank. She has an open and bubbly personality which makes her ideal for working with the community.

When not the face of the CIBC in her community, Cristina has a passion for flowers, specifically flower arranging. When married five years ago, she wanted to fill their home with love and colour. That is when she fell upon her passion for flower arranging.

CRISTINA FUN FACT: When she was six years of age, visiting Portugal, her heritage, she discovered the intoxicating smell of fresh mint. So intense was her love for the smell that she inhaled the plant so deeply that the leaves became lodged in her sinus! Panicking, her family could not remove the plant, causing her to become more upset and scared. The went deeper as she inhaled. After a trip to the local hospital emergency the mint was removed! The Hello Project failed to ask if she uses mint in her flower arranging today!

A relaxed, easy-going man, Sean is a dental surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Recently finished many many years at school, he has been working as an oral surgeon for one year.

Sean is a "big foodie" and traveller. A perfect combination of passions, he connects with the countries he visits through food as part of the culture. Italy and many other European destinations plus Hawaii and Indonesia are some of the places he has experienced.

SEAN FUN FACT: Sean still has every toy he had a young boy! "I have an extensive GI Joe collection. I was quite infatuated with GI Joes" he says, somewhat sheepishly, but with boyish pride. Of the obvious storage issue, Cristina says, "We live in a condo and space is at a premium. Most people use a storage locker for Christmas trees and other things – we have GI Joes"!


Sunday, June 7, 2015


Beginning at the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville, north of Toronto, Lauren McCallum's passion for pairing teaching curriculum with gallery & museum programming soon took here to London, England's Wadsworth Museum for two years. Closed for from lack of funding, Lauren was part of Wandsworth's team to when it re-opened.

Not able to stay longer in London, she headed for western Canada and was part of a group transforming concrete spaces at schools into gardens where children could help grow food for their lunch programmes. This garden experience and her background in museums was what drew her to Gibson House where they were beginning a heritage garden. As part of the Gibson staff she also is involved in programming and working with visiting school children to give them unique experiences. For many it is the first time they have seen where food originates.

For the children who visit Gibson House, it is a chance to see they are not alone in their experiences of coming to a new country. "Its a really nice connection for children that are arriving in North York to visit the Gibson House and see that the [Gibson] family here was adjusting to a new culture just like they are," Lauren describes as the children begin make connections between themselves and the Gibson family in the mid 1800s. "The children visiting see that they are part of what the Canadian culture is. Its the continual evolution of people coming together, merging what they know with what we have."

LAUREN FUN FACT: It was volunteering for the CNIB in Ottawa at a camp for visually impaired children that launched her into teaching which eventually landed her at Gibson house. One never knows where experiences will take you.

In a city like Toronto, it is rare to find a place with ample parking and next to a subway station. Unplug and take a trip back in time at historic Gibson House: 
5172 Yonge Street. (North York Centre subway stop)