Open Jaw’s Canada Day Series: Featuring Ukrainian Sparkler – Yuliya Antonov

Open Jaw

Yuliya Antonov

Yuliya Antonov, owner of Sparkling Voyages, feels she has found her true home here in Canada, thousands of kilometers away from her birthplace in Ukraine.

Where do you live? In Toronto.

When did you come to Canada? In 2000, with my parents. I was a teenager.

Why Canada? Like a lot of immigrants, my parents were looking for a better life and we had heard so many positive things about Canada, including the politics, the standard of living and the health care. It matched our hopes, absolutely.

What were your 1 st impressions? I was thrilled – from the conditions of the roads to how nice people were to us. It was like coming to a new world and we were never disappointed and so grateful to be here.

What was your 1 st job here? (Laughs) Selling shoes at SoftMoc!

What do you appreciate most about being Canadian? I would say the fairness and justice and the legal system. How do I feel about what is happening now in Ukraine? Very disappointed. It hurts my heart, the unfairness and instability, and I still have friends and family there. But unfortunately there's nothing I or anyone else can do.

If you could live anywhere in Canada, where would it be? Toronto! Absolutelyl!

What do you think would make Canada an even better place? Maybe some small things, but on the large scale of things? Nothing major.

How do you traditionally spend Canada Day? We spend it with family – my parents and my sister and her family - going out for a BBQ.

What do you think you'd be doing if you had remained in Ukaine? My goodness. If I couldn't have come here we would have tried somewhere else in Europe. I couldn't see myself living in Ukraine, either from a professional or personal viewpoint. In countries like Canada you feel you are protected.

(will not be published)