Toronto Through the Eyes of Leah Miller
I met Leah Miller at what her publicist said would be a "fun, promo event" for the new season of Miller's show, So You Think You Can Dance Canada. And if a "fun promo event" is a couple of girls handing out squished up SYTYCD beach balls, a few hip hop and break dancers occasionally busting a move in an eight by six foot taped-off rectangle, and the show's hosts milling around smiling and signing autographs - then, yeah, super fun.
After leaving for L.A. to pursue her star-studded dreams Miller returned to Toronto because she missed her family, landing a job at Much Music and not looking back. The newlywed married musician Dallas Green of Alexisonfire last year and together the couple probably gets more party invites in a month than most of us get all year. So when Miller punches out every night, where does she go? Home of course, to bake and watch TV.
When you think of Toronto, what three words come to mind?
Oh my gosh. I guess family. Good food. And my home.
You lived in L.A. for a little while when you were just starting out and then you came back - how do the two cities compare?
Oh my gosh. Just Canada in general is so much better than the States. Don't get me wrong I love traveling there but I miss my family. And I think Canadians are much nicer. Yeah.
And what is it that you love about Toronto in particular?
I love that I can work in downtown Toronto, I'm here Monday to Friday, and I love that I can just drive 20 minutes to north Toronto and that's where I live, that's my home. And it's a nice quiet neighborhood and there's grass and families, you know.
Is there anything that pisses you off about Toronto?
Oh my God traffic! Are you kidding? Like, I find, I just hate traffic. I get so frustrated. I get road rage when I'm in the car. And just bad drivers. You have to be a very defensive driver, I find, to drive in the city.
What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a truck.
OK well at least you've got some protection.
Yeah, It's like a mid-sized truck, so it's not too bad.
What's your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?
It's quiet and nice and there are wonderful families that I live beside. I love having a nice backyard that I can sit in, but I love also being able to walk places, walk to the movies, or to a magazine store, or walk and get my groceries. I like that. It's relaxing.
If you had to pick one restaurant in the city that's your favourite?
God, it's really hard to pick just one because I love food and I eat out a lot. But there's this really great Thai place that I love called Sorn Thai.
What do you do in the city after dark?
Sit at my house. Nothing. I don't go out. If there's a good movie I'm always at the movie theatre, so I go to the movies a lot. That's about it.
Is there anywhere in the city that you go if you want to be inspired?
Nature. Like whether it's Sherwood Park, wherever I can go and just be on hiking trails and not have to see cars or buildings, that's what I like to do.
Do you ever go outside of the city, like into the GTA?
My husband is from
St. Catherines St. Catharines and that's where his family lives, so we go to St. Catharines a lot or Niagara-on-the-Lake is beautiful... but that's pretty much as far as I go.
If you could tell City Hall to change one thing right now, what would it be?
Well... I would have said garbage like a week ago, that was a bit of a headache... I can't really think of anything... Probably my list is too long that I can't cut it down to one.
What about shopping?
Your husband is a musician. Do you listen to a lot of Toronto bands?
I listen to a lot of Canadian bands. I know a lot about music from working at Much Music and always wanting to know what's going on. He introduces me to a lot of artists that I would never know about from the States and all over the world which is really, really nice.
A Canadian that I'll always love is
Feist. I know she's like super popular right now, but she's just insanely amazing and I love her voice and I love listening to her CD. Lots of Canadian bands that are great. I love Arcade Fire, you could list a billion Canadian bands that are amazing.
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