WHO ARE YOU?
NAME: Andrea Gelinas
WHERE DO YOU LIVE: Bloorcourt Village
DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?
I have one cat and she’s a feisty old lady named Manolo.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
WHAT DOES THE WORD COMMUNITY MEAN TO YOU?
There are a few things that come to mind when I think about community; connecting with each other, supporting each other and growing together. I feel very lucky to have been able to open my clinic in this neighbourhood. The support from the community, both from patients and other businesses, has been far more than I ever imagined.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT VERY FEW PEOPLE WOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU?
A few years ago, my mother and I spent a month in the jungles of Cameroon, volunteering for Ape Action Africa, a gorilla and chimpanzee rescue center. Not only did we get to spend time with a few baby chimpanzees and gorillas but I had the opportunity to provide dental surgery for over 100 locals and some of the chimpanzees too!
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I have been lucky enough to have been surrounded by strong women my whole life. It taught me to set goals, be ambitious and reach for the stars. All of the women in my family have been working mothers, starting with my great grandmother. It taught me a lot about how to balance work life and home life. I’ve also noticed in the Roncesvalles/ Dundas West neighbourhood there are a lot of female entrepreneurs, which brings an exciting energy and makes me feel like this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
One of my first jobs was at Dairy Queen.
WHAT IS YOUR ALL TIME FAVOURITE MOVIE AND WHY?
The Wizard of Oz is my favourite movie because it reminds me of my childhood. It’s definitely a family favourite!
DO YOU DO ANY VOLUNTEER WORK?
I feel that it is very important to give back, especially having such a specialized skill as dentistry. I love volunteering out of the country, but the truth is there is a lot we can do in our own backyard. One of the goals when I opened the office was to make volunteering part of our mission statement, not just something we do on an annual basis. The organization that I felt I wanted to work with, was The Egale Foundation. They are a wonderful LGBTQI2S organization that has a youth outreach program. As an office, we recently completed our sensitivity training through The Egale and will soon be providing dental services to folks in need. It’s very important to me to create a space where everyone feels safe.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS?
My greatest achievement by far is opening my dental clinic. It’s exactly what I dreamed it would be like. I have an incredible team, but I am proud to say that I designed everything on my own. I drew the plans for the desk and cabinetry, sourced all the hardware and furniture and spent months custom mixing colours for the branding.
IF YOU COULD POSSESS ONE SUPER-HUMAN POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would love to teleport! My parents live in Windsor and my brother lives in New York City. It would be lovely to pop into the City for Sunday brunch or family dinner on a whim!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE VACATION SPOT?
I always feel torn between the hustle and bustle of a big city and the relaxation of a beach.
IF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY WERE LISTENING, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
Your mouth is the gateway to the body, take care of it and maintain it. It plays such a vital role in overall health. It’s often the case that dentists aren’t trusted and that is partially our fault. We need to spend more time with our patients. My goal is to have each patient finish their appointment having learned something about their oral health and know what is happening with their treatment. In order to do that, we must take the time to listen and educate.