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Here are the stories from people who are passionate about what they do, and inspiring others to pursue their own passions. These are people who are taking the world by storm and influencing others while they do it. Here are their stories.

From Minor League Hockey to Hairstyling


By Mark Nathan

Alex Palov left Montreal at 19 to follow his passion. It lead him to Toronto where he works as a hairstylist at Glassbox Barbershop.

Nova’s Ark

By Gavin Mercier

Sasha, a therapy Siberian Lynx, comes for pats. (Gavin Mercier/RSJ)

Nova’s Ark is a one-of-a-kind educational facility – the only one in Canada – located in Brooklin, Ontario. It specializes in animal-based education and therapy for students struggling in a school environment. Mary-Ann Nova, a former elementary school teacher and principal, opened the facility on her own property as an inclusive, welcoming, and safe space more than 10 years ago and now houses animals from every continent, excluding Antartica, on her property.

Educations fight for people experiencing homelessness

By Isobel Mason

Isaac Coplan (left) receiving the Solly Patel Essay Prize at a Ryerson Awards Ceremony in 2011. Coplan currently teaches the Homelessness in Canadian Society at Ryerson University. (Photo retrieved from

There is a stigma around people who experience homelessness, an idea that they did something to end up living without a roof over their head. In reality there can be many factors to lead to a person becoming homeless, such as a sudden loss of income, and not having a support system.The waitlist to get into a shelter can be up to 10 years, leading many people no other option than sleeping rough – on the street.

Isaac Coplan is one of three professors at Ryerson University who teaches the interdisciplinary studies course, Homelessness in Canadian Society. Coplan has been an instructor of the course for five years.

Through Cathy Crowe’s eyes: Climate change impacting the homeless

By Kirti Vyas

woman wearing a 1% button looks off into the distance
Cathy Crowe, a street nurse in the City of Toronto, wears a one per cent housing campaign button following a visit to Toronto City Hall. (Courtesy of Bishari Films)

Climate change is impacting the city’s homeless population the most and we need to do more to address this issue – through the eyes of Cathy Crowe.

Dreams of the Tower: Tales of a hippie college

By Mitchell Consky

Rochdale College was a social experiment in free-range education and communal living. Campus Co-Op, a housing organization loosely affiliated with University of Toronto, collected federal and provincial financial contribution to purchase a building on the corner of Huron and Bloor Street, with the goal of establishing a facility of student-run education. 341 Bloor Street West opened its doors in September of 1968, incubating artistic endeavour, social outreach, and counter-culture freedom. It eventually became the biggest drug haven in North America. Dan King and Paul Evitts, two Rochdale residents, recount their experience living in the vertical village.

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