Sarah Power is the best girlfriend anyone could ask for.
I met her briefly, years ago. I was reintroduced to her at a ladies poker night in Los Angeles. Sarah, the only one of us that understood the rules of poker, sat at the head of the table, calmly explaining flushes, straights and full houses to a table of chatty ladies. I remember thinking she had the most beautiful smile, that a quiet kindness radiated off of her, and that she was remarkably patient.
Los Angeles can be lonely and weird, and generally, displaced Canadian actors gravitate towards each other. After that night, I would call Sarah in the middle of the afternoon and we would drive an hour for low calorie frozen yogurt. There and back, we talked about our careers, life, love, loss. As we spent more time together, I began to feel more at home. I think it’s true that the sweetest support is found in friendship.
I learned that Sarah, originally from Newfoundland, moved to Toronto when she was eighteen to attend Ryerson, majoring in theatre arts. After graduating, she quickly found work; starring in CBC’s Wild Roses, Saw V, and American Pie: Beta House. She’s also appeared as a guest star on various TV shows, including The Listener, Republic of Doyle and Lost Girl.
I wanted to ask Sarah about her perspective on moving to Toronto as a young woman.
What motivated the move?
I grew up in Newfoundland and I told my parents I was going to move here as soon as I was done high school to pursue acting. They told me I had to go to school. So I applied to the Ryerson Theatre school. When I came up to audition it was the first time I had ever actually been here. But I had already decided, sight unseen, it was where I was going to live.
What areas of Toronto have you lived in?
I have lived all over downtown. The Gayborhood was my first, because it was close to Ryerson. Then Little Italy, Bloor and Dovercourt, Yorkville, and now Queen Street West.
What was the worst?
The worst of those would have to be Yorkville. Those are not my people.
What was the best?
My favorite would be where I live now. It’s close to Trinity Bellwoods Park and great bars. The best coffee. And of course the shopping.
What was the most difficult part of moving to Toronto?
The hardest part about moving to Toronto was leaving my family. I miss them. And my parents hate toronto so they never visit.
What was the easiest part of moving?
Going to Ryerson and living in residence made it really easy. I met all of my best friends (except you) there. And we were all new to the city back then so it was fun to discover it with them. All of us came here to go to school and none of us have left.
What are your favourite Toronto spots?
Bars: Baby Huey, Ted’s Collision, The Intersteer on Roncessvalles is a fave because its fun watching the polish lady who own the place throwing drunk guys out. I literally saw her kick a guy out the door once. He deserved it.
Restos: Saving Grace for brunch, Tomi Kro in Leslieville. Pizzaria Libretto.
Coffee: Manic on College and Communal Mule on Dundas has the best Almond Milk lattes.
Shopping: Propaganda on Yonge Street has the best jewellry, Chasse Garde for Shoes. I love Vintage 69 on Queen West
Do you think you’ll stay in Toronto? If not, where do you see yourself ending up?
Well I’m planning on moving to LA in January. But I think Toronto will always feel like home. I see myself hopefully going back and forth a lot. Maybe winters in LA and summers in Toronto.
What has Toronto taught you?
Toronto has taught me so much. I think its such a worldly city. Growing up I wasn’t exposed to any other cultures. I think its taught me to be very open minded. A lot of people in Canada who haven’t spent much time here have a hate on for Toronto that bothers me. People come here and think Toronto is made up of the Eaton Center and Dundas Square and they don’t bother to explore the rest of the city and the great little neighborhoods. You really have to take your time and get to know this city. And I know people say it all the time, but I’ve never been to another city that is this multicultural.
What do you miss about home?
I grew up in a pretty small town. Sometimes its very comforting to know that when you leave the house to go buy milk, you will know every single person that you see and they will all say hello.
What is your greatest Toronto memory?
My greatest Toronto memory was the Blackout in 2003. I was living on Church street at the time. All the bars and restaurants stayed open until they were out of ice and cold beer and then it turned into a street party, everyone was walking around with candles and flashlights and people were dancing. It was so much fun.
I look forward to the memories that we are going to make, at home and abroad.
~ Katie Boland