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How a business trip detour inspired this Toronto couple to move to rural N.L.

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Marie Magnin and Bobby Gorman were a busy, successful couple in Toronto. But a chance detour on a business trip brought it all to an end — in the best possible way. 

“When you’re in a big city you’re dealing with the stress of getting to and from places all the time,” said Magnin, who now lives in Twillingate with Gorman, her husband.

“But I think the biggest thing for us was that we really wanted to be somewhere where we could access the outdoors easily. And Toronto just wasn’t giving that to us.”

After a fateful visit to Twillingate, Marie Magnin and Bobby Gorman left the big city corporate life behind for small-town living central Newfoundland. The CBC’s Melissa Tobin bring us their story. 5:46

Magnin worked in marketing, and biked to work through the hectic city streets. Her job meant long hours, and she sometimes didn’t get home until after 10 p.m.

Gorman was in medical dental sales, an industry he’d worked in for nearly 20 years. His job often took him on the road.

In 2013, when a trip to Newfoundland came up, he invited Magnin, then his girlfriend, to go along for the ride. 

Husband and wife Bobby Gorman and Marie Magnin left their busy careers in Toronto for a simpler life in Twillingate (Melissa Tobin/CBC)

It would be Gorman’s first time back in Newfoundland since visiting his late grandmother in St. John’s in his teens. It was Magnin’s first trip to the island.

The plan was to take care of business in the city and then do some kayaking and explore Gros Morne National Park. But the rain shortened their visit to the park, so the pair went to Twillingate after a recommendation from people they met along the way. 

Little did they know the detour would be the start of a new life for them. 

Series of coincidences

“We went out whale watching and went to a kitchen party, ” Gorman said. 

“And a year and a half later, fast forward, we would get engaged and Marie says, ‘Why don’t we get married in Twillingate?’ It was just a good opportunity to bring everyone to this tiny little remote community that we sort of fell in love with.”

The couple bought a rental property in town, and Gorman trained to be a kayak instructor and started his own business.

Their fate was sealed when the town manager position opened up.

Magnin jumped at the chance. 

Marie Magnin became the town manager in Twillingate. (Melissa Tobin/CBC)

Her first day of work was just over a year ago.

“The reason this job really appealed to me is that it really is connected to real things, whereas when you get into the business world, especially management levels of the business world, it kind of loses meaning. You’re not very close to real people and real things,” she said.

Along with landing Magnin a new career, her job interview brought new opportunities for her husband, too: she happened to mention that Gorman played hockey in his youth and one thing led to another.

Gorman hadn’t played hockey for 20 years until moving to Twillingate. Last season, he helped the Twillingate Combines win the Central Newfoundland Hockey League championship. (Submitted )

“Bobby ended up at the stadium all weekend helping out with the hockey school. That was an introduction into a side of the community that probably would’ve been really hard for us to engage with.”

During his first season playing with the Twillingate Combines, the team won the championship in the Central Newfoundland Hockey League. 

Busier than ever

Aside from the hockey games, the couple keeps busy caring for their chickens, picking berries, renovating their old home and volunteering in the community.

Gorman said their new life is far from the slow pace they thought small-town living would bring. 

“We’re probably busier now that we’ve moved here. But we’re busy doing things we want to be doing.”

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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