Running Toronto

Interview with Aimee Laurel YYZ

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Photos by Jackie Beale
Words by Sheila Lam

In 2011, Vancouver native Aimee Laurel left her home to move to Toronto, Ontario with no contacts, no job, and no security of knowing what was to come. Two years after fleeing the West Coast she has turned a once unfamiliar city into her playground.

Laurel moved to Toronto with only one sight in her eye-line, MuchMusic. A division of Bell Media, MuchMusic is the MTV of Canada (even though there is a MTV Canada), playing host to lavish awards shows, celebrity interviews, newly released music videos, and young-adult dramas to sate their demographic. Today Laurel is responsible for the material you see online as the Web Content Co-Ordinator of the MuchMusic Digital team. A role that utilizes a combination of both her Bachelor of Communications degree from Simon Fraser University and her innate ability to engage with all forms of social media. Everything from the independent band Pickwick to pop-phenoms One Direction; if it’s in today’s music culture she and her team know and are reporting all about it.

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Outside of working often ten hour days at the MuchMusic offices on Queen Street West, she can be found lacing up her Nike Flyknits and meeting up with a group of questionable characters. In early 2013 Laurel launched the first and only dedicated night running crew in Toronto called, The Night Terrors. They meet every week on Monday nights at 10pm at the Trinity Bellwood Gates to begin a run around the city visiting various landmarks that are otherwise deserted at night. During the summer months they participate in post-run antics like running through the Canadian National Exhibition for some fun on the rides or late night swims in the Gus Ryder Pool at Sunnyside Park. It started out as a way to be active and see her new home in a different light and has since turned into something much more. To date the largest turnout for a single night run has been upwards of twenty individuals and in October 2013, Laurel completed her first full marathon in San Francisco, California.

As if working long days and running marathons isn’t enough, Laurel also hosts a monthly brunch at her home on Ossington Avenue called Shine Sundays. As a means to expand her own network and support others like her, it is a Bring Your Own Brunch buffet of homemade morning buns, cheese plates, and Good Morning Shots to gather some of the brightest creative female talent in Toronto. On the off chance that she’s not running around (literally) she’s brushing up on her illustration skills with weekly drawing dates and dancing away the nights DJing small events around the city. Suffice it to say, Laurel has taken every opportunity to explore all of the facets of Toronto and through two years of exploration has found some amazing things.

Shoot Locations: Working Title, Dineen Coffee, Nathan Phillips Square, Sud Forno, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and her apartment.

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Sud Forno

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MKDIR Interview with Aimee Laurel at Nathan Phillips

MKDIR Q&A Form—Aimee Laurel

MKDIR Interview with Aimee Laurel

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