A Q&A with Karla Heisterberg, a TL Insider, on making connections and learning new things
Toronto Life Insider is a membership club that gives you front-of-the-line access to the best experiences and offers in the city. With your membership, you get an upgraded subscription to Toronto Life that includes access to signature events (like an after-hours party at Cheese Boutique), hands-on workshops (hello, cocktail-making classes with top bartenders), and candid conversations between Toronto Life publisher Ken Hunt or editor-in-chief Sarah Fulford and some of the city’s most interesting characters.
We chatted with TL Insider Karla Heisterberg, an executive assistant, about her experience with the membership so far.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I lived in Toronto years ago, but I moved overseas in 2000 and lived in London, Paris and Saudi Arabia. In 2017, I decided it was time to come home—but not before travelling to nine more countries! I’m a senior executive assistant, but I recently got downsized, so I’m currently interviewing for new opportunities, but it’s been great having a chance to tour the city and visit attractions in the off hours.
Whereabouts do you live? What do you love about your neighbourhood?
I bought a condo near Fort York and Bathurst, which is fantastic. You walk 10 minutes south, you’re at the lake. You walk 10 minutes north and you’re on King West. It was also the perfect location to watch my beloved Raptors in their championship parade, I look forward to seeing it again this year—I am keeping the faith that they’re going to win! And there’s always something amazing happening at the Bentway or Stackt Market, which I absolutely love. I know it’s supposed to be temporary, but I really hope it stays. I’m always popping in just to see what’s new—the last time I went there was a wine yurt!
Any favourite local spots?
There’s just so much choice! WVRST on King West is fun, and I like La Palette on Queen West. It reminds me of my years in Paris, but it’s better because the people at La Palette are actually really friendly. I also love tiki bars, and further down Queen West there’s Miss Thing’s and Shameful Tiki Room. And it’s not close to me, but I love the new Eataly. I would move in if they’d let me—just find me a little spot under the gelato counter and I’d be living my best life.
What else do you get up to in your free time?
I recently committed to getting fit. I climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and I was in the best shape of my life, but since then, not so much! I go to a kickboxing gym called Big Hit, and I highly recommend it. I was a bit nervous at first, but the coaches are all really helpful. And you’re not sparring with people, just hitting a dummy—going to town on that thing is a great stress reliever. I’ve been going consistently for the past couple of months, andI’m really seeing results. I’m also into photography, so I’ve been working on that, and I do a lot of writing, too. Plus I’m trying to network, and the TL Insider membership has been great for that.
Why did you become a TL Insider?
Well, I’ve always read the magazine—whenever I came back to Toronto to visit, it was a great source for what was happening in the city. So as soon as I saw the Insider program I pounced on it. When I moved back, I found that—along with a lot of the other changes—this city isn’t as friendly as it once was, and I’ve struggled with that. But I have met a few people through TL Insider. In fact, at one event I got chatting to someone who was looking to buy a new home. I recommended my amazing realtor and she found him a place! It was very gratifying to help make that connection.
Any favourite events so far?
I really enjoy the Masterclasses. I’ll go even if it’s on a topic I don’t know much about, because they are always very interesting and I always learn something. Oh, and I loved that shopping event at McEwan. I regretted eating before I went because the food was so good! And I really enjoyed the R&D Night at Maison Selby. It’s such a beautiful building and the food and service were outstanding.
Any upcoming ones you’re looking forward to?
I just registered for the Serving Knowledge Supper Club at Xango. One of my goals for 2020 is to go to as many TL Insider events that I can. I’m definitely going to take advantage of the membership this year. Even though I’m on a bit of a budget right now, I still did not hesitate to renew my membership—it’s so worth it, and it pays for itself very quickly.
Be like Karla and become a TL Insider today!