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Karli Vezina

Sitting atop a stack of rugs, I had a conversation with Sam Tehrani, one of Bayview’s latest merchants to join the strip. Sam is a carpet dealer and enthusiast who runs Ghazal Rug Gallery at 1693B Bayview. As a fourth generation carpet dealer, he says almost every picture of him as a kid has a [...]

Last February we told you about Helena Giamos of Branksome Hall and Lauren Essaye of Northlea, two girls who rallied Leasiders to donate their used batteries to save lives. When we last spoke, they were more than halfway to their goal of 15,000 batteries and optimistic about hitting their target. We caught up with both [...]

Blacksmithing always brings to mind a certain era. Ages of old when Black Creek Pioneer Village may have been a bustling downtown core, when horses were hondas, and dragons were the stuff of legends. Back then, it would have been rare to see a female blacksmith, but today, Leaside’s blacksmith Tom Mourgas says women are [...]

There is plenty of buzz on Bayview these days. It seems every other shop is new or opening soon. For those of us who pass by daily, it can be hard to keep up. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new businesses on the strip: 2 BROS CUISINE: Formerly Rosie’s Kitchen, this place [...]

I’m standing outside 176 Wicksteed Ave., looking for Conspiracy Pizza. There is no pizza to be seen. I know it’s next to Adamson Barbecue and I’ve read about the pizzas: the ones with the heavy names and murky pasts. The Grassy Knoll, named after the location of the suspected other shooter in the John F. [...]

CycleBar is an indoor cycling gym with over 100 locations across the U.S., but Leaside holds the first franchise outside America. Naturally, this new “bar” at 1866 Bayview had us all curious so off I went to investigate. What makes CycleBar unique compared to other indoor cycling options (or “spinning,” as it’s often called) is [...]

When I first learned that my request to spend a day at 53 Division had been approved, I was excited. Shortly after, my mood shifted to nervous and then to dread. What unit would I work with? Would there be danger lurking at every corner? Police Constable and Community Response Unit member Brenda Dolenc suggested [...]

You never know what people get up to in their free time. Your quiet, geeky co-worker could be in a neo-punk-grunge band; your auntie could be mixing it up with whizzes in a chess club…or your Facebook friend could be training for the circus. Aerial aerobics to be exact, which has become something of a [...]

Vezina tries a little slice and dice at White House Meats Butchering 101

I’ve always been good with a blade. I don’t mean in the Kill Bill kind of way, but in the way that I used to enjoy carving wax candles and pieces of wood. Despite my slicing skills, I have next to no experience with meat preparation. This is largely due to the fact that I [...]

Food can be a great comfort in times of need. There is something about a hot, home-cooked meal that warms the belly as much as the heart. For those who are finding difficulty with shopping, commuting and cooking, a good meal often falls by the wayside in favour of something fast and easy. East York [...]

From interloper to local resident, I think I’m finally starting to feel like a Leasider. The advent of this column, “I’ll Try Anything Once,” has allowed me to explore my new neighbourhood in ways I could never imagine. First there was the pilates class at North Movement Studio. There, my awkward limbs learned the language [...]

If you knew that every AA battery had enough zinc to save the lives of six children, you might think twice before disposing of your used AAs. Lauren Essaye and Helena Giamos are two 11-year-old North Leasiders who learned this last fall and didn’t take the news lying down. The “Zinc Saves Lives” Battery Recycling [...]

Amsterdam Blonde is one of the first beers that the Amsterdam Brewery ever brewed, back on John St. in 1986. The Amsterdam Blonde also happened to be my personal favourite, ranked first place in the six-pack sampler I had received as homework after my tour. Earlier, I met with Heather Mundle of the Amsterdam marketing [...]

Eight years ago Charlene Kalia started the Laugh Out Loud in Leaside fundraiser to help bring awareness to the Leaside Gardens board of management’s initiative to build a second ice pad. After four years of arena fundraising and continued community encouragement, Kalia decided to keep the annual event going to raise money and awareness for [...]

In the everyday hustle and bustle, it’s easy to get lost in your own world. Often it isn’t until the holidays roll around that many begin to consider ways to help out and volunteer their time. When people think of volunteering, they may think of the mandatory community hours they or their children had to [...]

My left foot is in the hack, a foot-hold used by curlers to launch their delivery of the curling stone. My right foot is on a teflon sliding pad that looks like a shoe insert on steroids. Left hand on the handle of the stone, while the right holds tightly to the stabilizer that will [...]


There are two kinds of graffiti, one less appealing than the other. Throw-ups, tags or “bombing” refers to quick work in a jumble of graphic lettering, usually the artist’s name. This is the illegal side of graffiti art as it’s unsanctioned by property owners and tends to be unattractive and messy. The other kind of [...]

Starting with this issue, our intrepid writer, Karli Vezina, will try a new venture in the hopes of learning something different, and then sharing her experiences with Leaside Life’s readers. First up – Pilates! I told myself I was doing it “for science”. I would be a Pilates guinea pig. For some reason, I envisioned [...]