A Q&A with TL Insider Dale Schattenkirk on the perks of membership

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Toronto Life Insider is a membership club that connects you to the city. With your membership, you get an upgraded subscription to Toronto Life and FASHION magazine, invitations to workshops and one-of-a-kind cooking and cocktail masterclasses, promotions from top brands like a $50 Tiger of Sweden gift card upon signing up—and more.

We caught up with Dale Schattenkirk, a partner at KPMG, to learn about how he enjoys membership, which virtual events are his favourite, as well as what he’s most looking forward to in the coming months. 

Tell me about your relationship with the city. 

This past April was my five-year anniversary of moving to Toronto. I was born and raised in the Prairies and came here by way of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I had just taken a job at KPMG, where I am currently partner specializing in process improvement, and landed an apartment in Cabbagetown. It was an incredible introduction to the city, since I was able to immerse myself in the hustle and bustle but also had the Don Valley in my backyard. Nature was something I thought I’d have to leave behind when I moved, so I was pleasantly surprised. 

I also met my wife, Fawn, in the city, and we settled in the Beaches. Fawn grew up in the neighbourhood and is a heels-to-hikers-in-a-heartbeat kind of girl, so we spend our time canoeing along the lake, cycling the lakeshore and hiking near the bluffs. I’m only a short bike ride away from work and the luxury of downtown. Coming from an out-of-province perspective, I once bought into the “Toronto is overrated” attitude. Maybe it takes moving here to understand, but that couldn’t be any less true. 

What prompted you to join TL Insider?  

I was introduced to Toronto Life through Fawn, who has always been an avid reader. Food and wine are a big part of our leisure time—we use TL’s top restaurants list as a guide for dining. She gave me an Insider membership for Christmas in 2019, which was of course bittersweet since the pandemic hit not long after. Still, there’s been a ton for us to get excited about with all of the virtual programming. 

What have been some of your favourite virtual experiences?

One of the first events I attended was a gnocchi-making masterclass with chef Lauren Mozer. Her personality is so bright and made the class feel very interactive. Upgrading our wine fridge was one of the first purchases Fawn and I made during the pandemic, so we especially enjoyed the Grape Witches tasting event as well. We loved how much information they packed into the class while making it easy to follow. I think a big part about what has made these events work so well is how simplified the process is. The curbside pickup and delivery options have made it feel very accessible. Membership leaves nothing standing in your way to access so many different parts of the city. 

What has TL Insider taught you about the city? 

It has opened me up to businesses both large and small that I hadn’t been exposed to. From small-scale theatres to wine shops like Grape Witches, we’ve also learned how connected the business ecosystem is in Toronto. It’s kept us feeling social and in the know. 

What type of events would you like to attend again in the future? 

Fawn and I are big fans of restaurants with chef tables, so the opportunity to sit in on an in-person Serving Knowledge Supper Club event would be amazing. The atmosphere of those types of events is unmatched. I’m also really excited about the Future of the Downtown series. We’re all undoubtedly eager to find out what Toronto is going to look like post-pandemic, and TL Insider’s curated lineup seems like a really unique way to stay informed. 

Do you believe the city will return with a boom?

I absolutely do. In my work, I deal with change management and organization design and behaviour. The reason we feel so connected despite social distancing is that we’re all in this together. As the city reopens, there will be a natural shift to remain connected in person, and that is going to entail real-life interactions. I’m excited to be a part of it, and I know the Insider events Fawn and I will attend are going to make it that much better.

Experience TL Insider for the special rate of $50 (regular price $95). Sign up here.