Meet Ozzy and Mickael
With a thirst for knowledge and a taste for adventure, Ozanay (Ozzy) Bulent made her way from the ancient city of Troy in Turkey to Toronto in Canada.
“I wanted to live and experience life in a foreign city,” said Ozzy. “Growing up on the European continent, my family loved to travel. My parents drove for our family vacations all over Europe. But I wanted more. I really wanted to experience life in other countries, and you can only do that by spending time; by living in other cultures.”
“I finished my degree in human resources at home. It was time to fulfill my dream of travel. I hadn’t really thought of Canada as a destination. My mother’s cousin lives in the US, so my focus was probably more on the US. It was a friend of the family that told me Canada offered work/study visas, especially for language schools. With the help of a company in Turkey who works to arrange visas, I applied and was accepted. It took two years to put all the documents together.”
“I arrived in Canada and started studying right away. I was living with a great homestay mother and when my first course finished, I chose to continue studying. This time it was accounting at George Brown. I chose that school because it offered a co-op program. When I reached the work portion of the program, I got a job as an intern with Scotia Bank. It was an amazing experience and when I graduated Scotia Bank came back to me with a role in IT project management and business processes.”
Ozzy and Mickael met first as roommates. “We lived in the redeveloped Regent Park area of the city,” said Ozzy. “We enjoyed the central location so much that we bought our first condo there. We were planning our wedding when covid hit. Everything got delayed.”
“Mickael is from Marseille. He immigrated to Canada in 2009. As a superintendent on construction sites, he knows the city. So, when we decided if we were going to get a house, we needed to do it now, we looked beyond the area we were in. We didn’t know this neighbourhood existed, but we love it now. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful.”
As I interviewed Ozzy, Mickael was busy in the background talking to a window company. As a first step in their new home, they are looking to replace the windows in the house that face the DVP. Three panes will provide greater insulation and sound barrier.
It’s been a long year. Ozzy and Mickael had planned a wedding here with parties in Europe that has been delayed because of Covid. Ozzy’s family has yet to visit Canada, although Mickael’s family has managed a few trips at Christmas time and are planning another visit this summer
Ozzy is working from home these days, while Mickael continues onsite work as a frontline worker. They both enjoy cooking. Ozzy stays in shape by biking around the city, working out at home four days a week to dance sessions. “I used to spend a lot of time at the dance studio in Turkey,” says Ozzy. “My passion is Latin dance, all of it from Salsa, Merengue, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, and Samba. Music is the engine for Latin dance. It guides the steps with its measure, speed, and the feeling it evokes, from energetic to sensual.”
“We’ll continue to make this neighbourhood and our house into our home. We hope to be able to get married this year. It’s the right time and place.”