COVER STORY: Lights, Camera, Liza Fromer – Local Hillcrest Village Resident on Life, Career and her Community | By Stacia Carlton
Walking onto a TV set one might expect periods of frenzied activity followed by hushed silences—all very formal and tense. But the day I had been invited to meet Liza Fromer of Global’s popular morning show, I was happily surprised to find I was dead wrong. In fact, effortlessness would best describe how Liza and her co-workers pull one of Toronto’s top morning shows together, everything unfolded with ease and fluidity.
Arriving a few moments early, I was welcomed into the studio to watch Liza and her co-host tape a few promotional spots. According to Liza the team has found a really good groove. There were the expected initial growing pains, but after some retooling the show is now developing in an exciting way, Liza explains. Her effortless attitude and style became still more evident when I joined her on the set to chat about her life, her career and her love for Toronto.
It’s no surprise that Liza can transition from on-air to off without skipping a beat since she has been doing this since 1989. Liza started the job part time while studying at Ryerson and through a number of jobs in the business. Each progressive step leading her to believe, innocently then, and endearingly now, that she had reached her peak. It is with this optimism and enthusiasm that we are able to enjoy the benefits of her discipline each morning. Her drive for excellence allows her to make decisions that helps her stay true to herself and allows her personality to shine through in everything that she does.
Although Liza has been on an upward trajectory since that wide-eyed kid from Kitchener landed in the Big Smoke, she has managed to remain down-to-earth about each of the experiences along the way. She expresses respect for each of the stages. From Community Cruiser girl at Q107 through anchoring in Calgary and then to LA and back again, she maintains that as wonderful as the experiences were. “Ultimately, Toronto is it for me. I love this city so much I wouldn’t ever want to leave it,” she says.
On the topic of Toronto, there was a certain pride of ownership in her tone when she spoke of our city. Liza spent many happy hours exploring on foot as a new mother, specifically Kensington, The Annex, Yorkville and most importantly, where she now calls home, Wychwood.
It was on one of those walking expeditions that she stumbled upon Wychwood Park. She had been looking for another address entirely when she first spotted it. She moved in and spent her second pregnancy lapping the park for exercise referring to it aptly as an enchanted forest and a sweet little oasis.
Although she moved out of the park in 2011, she knew that she would stay in the neighbourhood for its convenience, charm and strong community. Once we got onto the topic of local businesses and restaurants, Liza went from interesting and engaged to positively ebullient.
Liza is well-informed to say the least when it comes to the local restaurant scene. She excitedly rattled off names of restaurants of both the “tried and loved” and “looking forward to trying” variety. She has her regulars including Dave’s on St. Clair where she and her kids enjoyed brunch with board games so much one wintery Sunday they wound up staying for lunch! Fiesta Farms is a regular weekday stop. Cafe Nervosa and Playa Cabana are favourites of Liza’s, and Playa’s new sister restaurant, Barrio Coreano, makes her “excited to try” list.
Of course she supports Leah’s on St. Clair for her excellent products. “Communities are made up of all these people that are making their livelihood and they care about what they’re crafting,” Liza goes on to say. Although she’s not anti-corporate it’s this mentality that makes Toronto so interesting.
This strong urge to support community extends beyond her shopping and dining expeditions to include that of her children who both take karate in the neighbourhood at Northern and also go to public school in the area. This is an important point for Liza, she explains that these types of neighbourhoods and the schools within them are good for child development. It illustrates to them that this big city has many different types of life and lifestyles to appreciate.
Liza believes it is her responsibility to promote local. Not only supporting her fave businesses and schools, but also being involved with charities. Her next event is on February 6th hosting Wychwood Open Door’s Annual Trivia Night. Wychwood Open Door provides meals and community for homeless and socially isolated individuals in the St. Clair West area three days a week.
Liza Fromer has graced our city with her charming and honest on air journalism for many years and with her involvement in our communities. We can claim her as a true Toronto gem.
STACIA CARLTON: is a food writer who believes in promoting the people and businesses of our communities. Visit her weekly at www.bestillandeat.com where she obsesses mostly about food.