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TL Insider

A Q&A with Tina Iaquinta, a TL Insider, on mind-blowing dinners and educational Masterclasses

A Q&A with Tina Iaquinta, a TL Insider, on mind-blowing dinners and educational Masterclasses
Photo by Andreea Muscurel

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TL Insider

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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 a taco party with La Carnita), hands-on workshops (hello, cocktail-making classes led by top bartenders), hard-to-get tables at some of city’s best restaurants (we’re looking at you, Momofuku Kōjin) and candid conversations between TL’s editor-in-chief Sarah Fulford and some of the city’s most interesting characters.

We chatted with TL Insider Tina Iaquinta, a 41-year-old entrepreneur, about her experience with the membership so far.

Tell us about yourself.

I immigrated to Toronto when I was 11. I’ve been here for about 30 years now and I don’t plan on leaving—I love it here. I have family members that live in warm places and they can’t understand why I won’t move. I like the lifestyle here and I just can’t picture myself going anywhere else. While I live outside of the city in Thornhill, I’m always downtown—that’s where my livelihood is.

What do you do for a living?

I run my own business called Modern Concierge, it’s a lifestyle-based company. We handle anything for our clients from taking care of their houses, running their errands, scheduling events and planning travel—small things that can bog down time.

Why did you decide to become a TL Insider?

It’s part of my job to have the inside scoop on everything that’s going on in the city, but there’s often so much happening it’s hard to keep track of it all. So when the TL Insider membership was introduced, I was ecstatic. I immediately put myself on the waitlist. I read Toronto Life regularly—I’ve had a subscription for the past six or seven years, since I started my company. But now I actually get to go and experience all of the things I read about in the magazine. As much as I love to go out, I’m a mom—I have two kids, ages eight and 10—which means I’m a chauffeur half the time. So for me, this is a great opportunity to take one night a week and go out and experience something fun. Last week I actually went to two events!

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What have you done so far?

I’ve gone to two of the R&D dinners already, the ones at Actinolite and Tanto. And I’m going to the one at Montgomery’s on April 3. They were mind-blowing. The food was so good and the chefs were amazing. The way that they curated each experience was incredible. I was actually able to speak with the chef at Actinolite, and now I’m actually looking at doing a dinner there for our clients.

Have you been to any of the non-restaurant events?

I went to the Masterclass with Raj Kothari, the vice-chair of PwC, at the Toronto Life office. That was probably the best event I’ve attended so far. It’s not because I didn’t like the other experiences—they were amazing—but the value of being able to sit down and talk to these incredible, interesting people is just insane. Raj was talking about his own experience immigrating to Canada, and to hear his story was such a valuable experience. We actually went way over the allotted time—I think it was supposed to be only like 50 minutes long but we ended up chatting for three hours! People just wouldn’t stop asking him questions, it was so generous of him to give us that extra time. I met some really great people at that event, too, like the person who runs a business podcast I’ve been following over the last couple of years.

Anything you’re looking forward to?

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I’m going to the In Conversation with Bruce Linton, the CEO of Canopy, on March 26. I’m really excited for that one. I didn’t know what the non-restaurant events were going to be like, but the educational value of them is just incredible. I’ve been in love with this experience.

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