Meet a Somali-born model and activist whose move downtown launched her career

When Yasmin Warsame moved to the heart of Toronto’s fashion district 20 years ago, she never imagined the role that two downtown neighbourhoods would have on her life and career.

“We moved right in the middle of downtown by Queen and Spadina where all the agencies were placed at that time,” the international model said. “It was just a matter of time before I ran into people.”

She was five months pregnant in 1997, when she says a makeup artist who rode his bike past her on the street every day finally stopped and asked her to meet his colleagues.

“He was just like, ‘Listen, people think I made you up. You have to come into the office just to prove to them that I didn’t imagine you,'” she recalled. “We went in there and the rest is history.”

Now one of Canada’s most familiar faces in fashion has called the Esplanade area home for the last decade, where she is raising her 18-year-old son, Hamza, and newborn daughter.

She said she feels “a lot more comfortable” because of the area’s character and diversity.
‘It really didn’t feel like I was in Canada’

But the transition from neighbourhood to neighbourhood wasn’t always beneficial for the statuesque beauty.

She immigrated to Canada at 15 from a small town in Somalia and landed in Etobicoke, near Dixon Road, where she lived with family.

Warsame refers to living in this area of Toronto as “quite the experience.”
‘It really didn’t feel like I was in Canada’

But the transition from neighbourhood to neighbourhood wasn’t always beneficial for the statuesque beauty.

She immigrated to Canada at 15 from a small town in Somalia and landed in Etobicoke, near Dixon Road, where she lived with family.

Warsame refers to living in this area of Toronto as “quite the experience.”

After living in so many neighbourhoods, eventually Warsame and her family of three moved again. They settled on a home in downtown’s east end that suited them and have lived there happily for about 10 years.

“Here I’m just known as Hamza’s mom,” she said.

The 40-year-old, whose presence on the runways of Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford, work with Canada’s Next Top Model and humanitarian work in Somalia has awarded her international fame, always returns to the Esplanade.

The area is “very comfortable” for her because of the family, diversity and city experience she needs.

“I really feel a lot more comfortable in this neighbourhood,” Warsame said. “I like the playgrounds, I like the access children have to the community centre … I like the downtown area feel of being close to everything but not being right in the middle of a busy intersection.”

On Saturday, the Toronto transplant is being awarded the trailblazer award at this year’s Black Arts and Innovation Expo for her work abroad.

Source:-  CBC NEWS

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