society watch

Party Faithful

Toronto’s new socialites are more diverse, ubiquitous and glam than ever

by shinan govani

The pandemic was hard on the party people: gone was the see-and-be-seen lustre of IRL events, replaced by mono­tonous Zoom galas. But the city’s new generation of bougie babies cut their teeth online, confidently straddling the real and the virtual. They know how to work a room—and how to make social media move to their beat. Here, a taxonomy of Toronto’s glitterati and where they fit into the firmament.

👋🏽 Social Capitalist
🎁  Charity Champion

🎉  Life of the Party

🦉  Highbrow

💯  Social Media Maven
🔥  Brand Boss

👠  Fashion Icon

💸  Old Money


Yuliya Calister

💯 👠 🔥

Perpetually on the list of cool kids, Calister worked in education and retail before becoming a model and brand ambassador on TikTok and Instagram.

Yi Zhao

💯 👠 🔥

Zhao is a prime example of the influencer-socialite hybrid. She invests in art as her principal gig, and she’s routinely present at launches and lunches, touting brands like Dior to her 240,000 Instagram followers.

Liz Kapran

💯 👠

Kapran is a young content creator and stylist—with close to 800,000 followers—adding fresh sizzle to high society.


Jay McCauley

👋🏽 👠

McCauley is a master at both wearing a suit and funnelling money into worthy causes. He has served on several committees (CANFAR, SickKids) and is organizing the inaugural Telus Foundation gala happening this spring.

Nia & Justice Faith

🎉 👠 🔥 🎁

The impeccably educated
Faith sisters—Nia went to Howard, Justice to Columbia—are popular additions to the circuit, making waves with Révolutionnaire, their Gen Z–centric philanthropic venture
devoted to social change.

Kulin Matchhar

🦉 🎁

Ubiquitous and endearingly earnest, Matchhar sits on various boards, is the Giving Officer at Casey House and supported last November’s Lit Gala, a Diwali celebration for the Mariam Society.

Parambir Keila
& Anjli PateL

🦉 👠

This husband-and-wife doctor-lawyer team boosts the arts via the Bata Shoe Museum and the Gardiner Museum.


Siphesihle November

👠 🎉

Everyone wants this sprightly South African ballet dancer at their parties for his grace
and charisma.

Joey Gollish

🔥 👠 👋🏽

With a nickname like Mr. Saturday—also the name of his edgy apparel line—how could Gollish not be fun? He was recently appointed creative director in residence at Roots and was seen hanging with the Weeknd in Cannes.

Farnoosh Talaee

🦉 👋🏽

Talaee is a gallerina oozing new style into the art scene as director of the Next Contemporary, a showcase for BIPOC artists.

Frank Walker

💸 🔥

This Stronach Family heir—Frank’s grandson and Belinda’s son—has found success as one of the city’s top DJs.

Michael Nyarkoh

👠 👋🏽

A long-time cultural programmer and head of community and marketing at the Ace Hotel Toronto, Nyarkoh is a snappy dresser at talks, celebrations and fundraisers.


Sonja Berman

🎁 👋🏽

Berman is an elite fundraiser with style for days. The wife of Tricon CEO Gary Berman, she co-chaired the Mad Hot
Ballet benefit and, for the second year in a row, co-piloted the AGO’s Art Bash.

Lily Li

🎁 👋🏽

A worldly portfolio manager with a penchant for bright colours, Li is everywhere on the circuit these days. She co-chairs the Canadian Opera Company’s tent-pole fund­raiser, Centre Stage.

Amy Burstyn Fritz

🔥 💸 🎁 👋🏽

Owner of the Vogue-approved tableware brand Misette, Burstyn Fritz currently co-chairs the Writers’ Trust Storytellers Ball.

Candice Sinclair

💸 🎉

Sinclair has event-planned her way to the top of the fundraiser food chain. She works with several major charities, including the Boost Child and Youth Centre.

This story appears in the November 2023 issue of Toronto Life magazineTo subscribe for just $39.99 a year, click here. To purchase single issues, click here