Being her own boss.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, I go to the Good Life Fitness at Union Station. It’s busy, but I find the gym at that time – pleasantly – to be a solitary place. The people aren’t antisocial; there are smile, nods and quick hellos between regulars. It’s just that if you’re getting up before 6:00 a.m. to exercise, you’re there to exercise and you stay focused on that.

Every morning, Monday through Friday, Esther Gombor is at the Good Life, too. She is there to work out and respects that others are, too, but she also makes time for a quick conversation with the people she sees regularly. Having gotten to know her, I wanted to find out: “What gets you up and to the gym every day?”

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If it weren’t for scallop dragging … a profile of my father

Today, my dad turns 75. Quite the milestone. I’d say that it makes me feel old, but he’s the one at the three-quarters-of-a-century mark and so I’ll leave such comments to him.

I was fortunate a few months ago to spend a weekend with him and his wife, Cindy, at their home near Boston. I was taking a history course at Ryerson University and for our term paper we were asked to answer the question: “What global and local historical forces brought you to be residing in your current hometown in Canada?”

His decision to leave Campobello Island, New Brunswick, at 18 for Ontario obviously played a big part in my being born and raised here. And while we didn’t discuss historical forces, I did learn a lot about his life growing up and his choice to come to a new place.

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A lifetime of finding new music

Jackie Wilson has always loved music, and her tastes, like mine, have kept her searching for something more than what Top 40 hits have to offer.

Growing up in the north end of Montreal in the 80s, about all she knew was the British pop that was big in English Canada at the time: Joy Division and then New Order, The Smiths, The Cure. However, that all changed on a high school band trip to Boston in 1984.

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