“A Day in the Life” with Toronto writer Shantelle Bisson

It goes without saying that Shantelle Bisson is my only mother. Naturally, this means that I wasn’t raised by any other mother and therefore have no real point of comparison, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like being raised by anyone else. I can say this fairly confidently because for as long as I can remember, people have told me “wow, your mom is so COOL.” Not everyone can say that, but my sisters and I can.

Sure, there have been ups and downs as with every parent-child relationship. But so many of the downs were turned into learning experiences to grow from, opportunities to see how you can love and support the people you care about. And the ups? No one can celebrate the ups like my mom can. I think one of the things I cherish most about my mother is her ability to celebrate. It’s something we don’t often think about, but what a beautiful thing, to celebrate the triumphs and successes of yourself and others!

So I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate my mother. A woman whose passion and philanthropy have inspired myself and so many others. A woman who has been working tirelessly my whole life and accomplished everything I have seen her put her mind to.

-By Brianna Bisson-Franklin

Shantelle Bisson - 50th bday was taken by Ryan Emberley
Shantelle Bisson – 50th bday with the fam – Photo by Ryan Emberley
Shantelle Bisson - shantelle bisson
Shantelle Bisson – A Chandos Sunset
CCC 2019 - Photo by George Pimental
CCC 2019 – Photo by George Pimental
Duke and the Shantilly's Place Crew
Duke and the Shantilly’s Place Crew
Shantelle Bisson - Media Writing - Photo by Tara West
Shantelle Bisson – Media Writing – Photo by Tara West
Owners of Shantilly's Place
Owners of Shantilly’s Place
Shantelle Bisson - My fave guy - Photo by Kitty Holland
Shantelle Bisson – My fave guy – Photo by Kitty Holland
Coast to Coast - Photo by George Pimentel
Coast to Coast – Photo by George Pimentel
Shantelle Bisson - Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool
Shantelle Bisson – Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool
Shantelle Bisson - Shantilly's Place
Shantelle Bisson – Shantilly’s Place

What ‘hood are you in?

This is an interesting question. Some people say we’re in the Forest Hill hood, others say we’re in the Annex. We simply call it “walking distance from all the places we love the most!” We recently sold our family home and downsized to our first grown up space. We’ve had kids since we were nineteen so this is the first time we’ve bought furniture with delicate fabrics, and splurged on expensive area rugs. We got extremely lucky to find a ground floor unit on a ravine, so neither of us feels like we’re living in a condo.

What do you do?

I wear a lot of hats, because I have many interests. Currently I’d say the passion that I’m pursuing most actively is my love of writing. I’ve written my debut non-fiction book; Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool. I guess all the things I love doing all have a similar theme in that they all allow me to create worlds. I create TV show concepts and am always actively trying to sell a TV show, or two, or three at any given time.

I recently purchased the oldest marina on the same lake where we have our summer home. I called it Shantilly’s Place after a nickname that my husband gave me, and made our English Bulldog, Duke, the face of the place. I knew nothing about lake life prior to building a cottage in 2017-2018, so what possessed me to purchase a rundown 63 years old marina at the end of the 2018 summer season still remains one of life’s greatest mysteries!!

The only thing I can say about it is that I went to see the place, thanks to the prodding of my best friend and her husband, who are also the reason I now own a cottage, we purchased the land next to them that was owned by her father. And all of summer 2018 she would share sad stories she was reading on social media about how upset the entire lake community was over the sudden closure of the historical marina. I went to look at it, and honestly, it was as if the place wanted me to own her, to revive her and breathe new life into her…and now here we are, me a marina owner! Most people who have been coming to the marina their entire lives cannot believe it’s the same place. They had no idea that the building, the store, all of it could look so good. First season down, second season ready to go in a couple of months for this born, raised and bred city girl, and I couldn’t love anything more than meeting my lake neighbours, scooping ice cream for the kids and pumping gas! Who would have thought it???

What are you currently working on? 

I’m currently working on the events schedule for the 2020 summer season for Shantilly’s Place. I’m also opening Shantilly’s Subs on the site, I’m converting a storage room into a sub shop so that the cottagers can spend less time worrying about lunchtime meals and spend more time on the water! I’m also writing my second non-fiction book: Parenting Your Teen Without Losing Your Cool, along with making some changes to a TV show concept that my writing partner and I are hoping to sell once it’s revised.

I’m looking forward to once again being co-chairs of the annual Butterfly Ball in support of Boost for Kids at the end of May. We’re donors to this incredible organization that is doing important work for kids all over the GTA who are survivors of sexual abuse. We’re also co-chairs of the annual Purple Party in support of Childhood Cancer Canada, which I’m excited is moving from October to June this year. We’ve been working with them for almost a decade as co-chairs, and I have been on the committee for the past five years helping to shine a light on their important work of raising funds for children’s cancers across the country. These are just two of the five charities I work with on a regular basis, all of the organizations I work with have a focus on making children’s lives better.

Where can we find your work?

You can find my work with regards to my first book; Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool at Indigo, Amazon, both Canada and US, Barnes and Nobles and Target.

Shantilly’s Place you can follow us on Instagram, or come up to North Kawartha and buy a scoop of famous Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream!




About Joel Levy 2588 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography