• Pat Browne

Meet Ruben and Ilanit

After a little time away from our blog, I'm back talking to the incredible people who make up our neighbourhood. Today's article is about Ruben, Ilanit and their children.

We have such amazing neighbours in our 'hood. And just when you think you've met everyone, another pops up to say they have been living here for almost a decade. This is the case with Ruben and Ilanit and their children Benji (8) and Leah (4).


Ruben and Ilanit first saw our neighbourhood when they came to interview their wedding videographer two years before moving in. "We didn't know this neighbourhood existed," said Ilanit. "We were sure we were lost when we followed the directions to visit with our videographer. We drove past Jansen and then Grand & Toy, only to find such a wonderful neighbourhood hidden at the end of Green Belt Drive."


"After we got married, we lived in an apartment on Mount Pleasant near Davisville," said Ruben. "When it was time to look for a house, we didn't initially have this neighbourhood on our radar, but our realtor brought us here anyhow, and what sealed it for us was having dinner in the park with our agent after our first house tour."


"Sitting at the park, surrounded by the beautiful rows of homes, the park's greenery, and watching families at the playground, we knew we wanted to partake in that scene – it felt safe and welcoming."


"As we settled in and had our first child, we started to discover and appreciate the area more and more - the trails, shops, and the convenience of having the DVP around the corner were all a huge bonus for us. We loved that we could hop in the car and be downtown in 20 minutes or up in RichmondHill - where Ilanit's parents live - in about the same amount of time."


"Covid was a big change for us professionally," said Ruben. "I work in digital advertising sales, and most of my clients were in the restaurant and film industry, so we felt the effects immediately once everything started shutting down. Ilanit is self-employed and, fortunately was able to put her business on hold to help out more at home."


"I took time to teach the kids at home at first as we didn't really have much of anything in terms of schooling going on in the first months of Covid. Once we got into the swing of things, Benji did well with digital learning. Leah is a bit young yet, but still, we think our kids will look back on this time with pleasure. Each day we would have our lessons, and then the kids would meet up with their friends outside safely," says Ilanit. "That really helped minimize any interruption to their lives and helped relieve the stress of being stuck at home."


Ilanit is a graphic designer specializing in branding solutions for both print and digital spaces. Having worked as a creative director for the better part of a decade, Ilanit has been instrumental in shaping brands from the ground up, organizing global campaigns, designing websites and apps and even office spaces.


"Building a memorable brand takes more than a well-designed logo. Branding is about knowing what connects with your customers, authentically speaking to who they are, and genuinely gaining their trust and loyalty," says Ilanit. "I thrive on hearing the stories behind a business and interpreting that into a thoughtful visual system."


"In late 2019, I was laid off from the start-up I've been at for the past 5 years. I took it as an opportunity to finally put my energy into building my own design business. Then Covid-19 hit merely 3 months into it. I had to put it all on hold to shift my focus to the family. I was fortunate enough to work on several projects from existing clients throughout the pandemic here and there, but now I'm happy to say that my business is starting to ramp back up!"


Check out Ilanit's work at www.ilanitshohat.com.


"We knew we were in a great neighbourhood before covid. We take trips with our neighbours, play golf, and generally enjoy each other's company. But covid really highlighted how great the community really is," said Ruben. "For example, when we had to quarantine last year, and that's when the people of this neighbourhood really came together and helped out. Food and games were delivered to our door daily to ensure our stomachs were full and we had something to do. It was truly touching."


"We don't take for granted that we won out big with this community. There's always someone ready and willing to lend a hand," says Ilanit. We have friends in other neighbourhoods who cannot believe how lucky we are."


"We love our home and the area. This is where we want to raise our kids; amongst the great friends we've established and this neighbourhood."

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