Ontario Storybook Winner

Congratulations to Elyssia Giancola from Brampton, our Ontario Storybook winner!

Elyssia has chosen to use their $100 gift certificate at Michael’s Back Door Restaurant in Mississauga. 

Read Elyssia’s inspiring submission using the prompt, “Tell us the story of your best friend”:

I met my best friend on the first day of high school in fourth period English, my last class of the day. I was sitting in the centre of the front row when someone came in and asked if they could sit next to me. I said yes. She sat down and we started chatting, comparing schedules and the like. We discovered that we’d already been in two classes together that day and hadn’t realized. 

The next morning was a difficult one for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the first of many days I experienced crippling anxiety in high school. That morning, I stood outside my first period class – phys ed, as if things weren’t already bad enough! – and could not stop crying. I wanted to run, I wanted to hide, I wanted to be anywhere but school. I didn’t know what to do. And then, the girl from English class arrived. She put a hand on my arm and told me it was going to be okay, in a way that wasn’t condescending or pitying but truly, genuinely kind. She walked me into class that day, and she would walk me through countless other days in the years to come.

My best friend has the most beautiful heart of anyone I have ever met. When I talk, she listens with curiosity and compassion. There is not a judgmental bone in her body. When I am lost, she somehow always knows what to say to set me back on the right course. She makes me want to be the best version of myself because that is the version of me that she sees. 

In the years since high school, we’ve never lived in the same city at the same time, so we see each other rarely. Indeed, because life gets busy, there have been years where we’ve hardly even spoken, aside from a quick check-in here and there. Nonetheless, there is no one I feel more comfortable with, no one I trust more. And because of the amount of time we spend apart, we have a little tradition. When we do get the chance to see each other, she writes dozens of notes and hides them around my room. Some are drawings, some are inside jokes, some are affirmations. I find some of them easily, but others surprise me weeks, months, or even years down the road. In fact, some are still hidden somewhere, waiting to be found. They always bring a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart, just as my best friend always has. 

And that’s the story of my best friend!


Thanks to our Restaurant Partners

We want to send out a huge thank you to all of our restaurant partners across Ontario for being a part of our Storybook this summer. The contest may be over, but you can still support your local diner or pub by getting a delicious meal for dine in or take out! Read the stories of all of our restaurant partners and decide where you want to eat next here.

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