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Born in Nicosia, Cyprus |

Mona moved around a lot before settling here in Toronto. She first landed in Montreal to pursue an international education, not unlike many others of her generation from Cyprus and Lebanon. After attending Concordia University, and recognizing Toronto as a “boomtown for advertising”, Mona relocated here to specialize and further her career. Now, as both a home and business owner, she says her roots are firmly planted here. It was in Toronto where Mona became a Canadian citizen. She has only lived in Nicosia longer, truly making Toronto home. Currently Mona owns a fashion and culture magazine called The Genteel and also works as a Senior Strategist in advertising.

Toronto as Home

Mona is sitting in her downtown condo, a place she calls her “sanctuary”. This is the first place she has owned, and she says that alone is symbolic of her coming of age in Toronto. Over the years she has designed her home to be truly representative of herself, and the identity she has come to form in the city.

Connection with the Past

Mona is holding a vintage Japanese painting that used to hang in her childhood home in Nicosia, and then in her parents’ home in Beirut. It is meaningful because it has been passed down to her from her mother. Mona’s father was heavily influenced by Japanese culture through his work with clients from Japan, and Japanese art was scattered throughout the house as Mona was growing up. This is an heirloom, a piece of home that she can keep here in Canada.

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