Nadeem and Zahra Basaria are one of the founding families in our neighbourhood.
You would recognize Nadeem as the one who ALWAYS has a Tim Hortons cup in his hands. Zahra is the cook in the family, you might have walked by their house and smelled some delicious food coming from there.
Nadeem and Zahra met and started their relationship in Toronto; however, their families knew each other from Uganda. During the Idi Amin regime in 1972 they were amongst many families affected that had to flee the country. Nadeem’s family ended up in London while Zahra’s moved to Canada. Eventually Nadeem’s family also moved to Canada, where Nadeem and Zahra met at their high school and the rest is history.
In 2001, looking to live close to the new Ismaili Centre Toronto under construction at the time, Nadeem and Zahra first purchased a home on David Dunlap Circle, along with their first dog Rajah. They loved this neighbourhood so much that in 2005, they purchased one of the larger homes to accommodate their growing family. They now have 3 growing boys and their second dog, Rajah (yes same name and same breed) whom I’m sure would have caught your attention barking through their window.
The three boys are 11, 14 and 16. Nabeel is the youngest at 11. He’s sporty, loves video games and all animals. Nabeel aspires to a be a teacher by day and a Veterinarian by evening.
Khalil, the middle son, is 14 and is an avid soccer player. During this pandemic, Khalil has also learned how to cook and considers himself a chef in the making. His delicious burgers and buffalo chicken wings are highlights at family dinners.
Ziyaan, the oldest, is 16 and starting to drive. He’s an artist, master baker and loves music and piano. While in middle school, he created a beautiful mosaic of Nelson Mandela which currently hangs in the Principals office. He also enjoys spending time outside and goes for long walks in the winter and long bike rides in the summer. You may have seen him walking around our neighbourhood getting his steps in and playing Pokémon Go!
The boys are all in different schools. Ziyaan is at Victoria Park Collegiate Institute in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, Khalil is enrolled at York Mills Collegiate Institute and Nabeel is at Windfields Middle School.
“It does amount to a bit of driving around each morning,” said Nadeem. “As an independent mortgage broker, I’m working from home. Zahra also has the option to work from home occasionally which gives us the flexibility needed as the boys continue to grow.”
“This little enclave is a special place; I’ve never been worried about the boys playing on their own," said Zahra. "It’s a place where they can be themselves and run with their friends. This is so important at this stage of their lives as they develop their own identities and personalities,”
“In 2017, we were able to renovate most of the home to accommodate the growing needs of the family,” said Nadeem. “This has definitely become our dream home and one we could never imagine moving from.”
“We love the neighbourhood so much that after we moved in, we encouraged both my sisters and their families to move in as well,” said Zahra. “During this pandemic, it’s also been nice having family close by, even if we cannot gather together, it’s been convenient dropping off meals and staying connected.”
“In the end we love this neighbourhood, the rich diverse community, and the friendly people,” said all the Basarias!