Cana­dian Cre­ations

Toronto’s Bond Run­ning

Canadian Running - - FEATURES -

Can your pas­sion change you? For Steven Artemiw the an­swer is a de­fin­i­tive yes. “Run­ning le­git­i­mately saved my life,” says the founder of Toronto’s Bond Run­ning. And he knows ex­actly how many days ago it oc­curred. The day I in­ter­viewed Artemiw, it’d been nine years and 364 days since he had a co­caine over­dose. Three days af­ter leav­ing the hos­pi­tal, he started run­ning. In 2012, Artemiw and friends formed Park­dale Road­run­ners. It grew or­gan­i­cally from two friends go­ing out for a run to wel­com­ing run­ners of all lev­els and ages from the neigh­bour­hood. Be­fore he knew it, his love of run­ning and the com­mu­nity bond pro­vided the cat­a­lyst for Artemiw to make his pas­sion a big­ger part of his life.

Why Bond Run­ning?

Twelve months ago, my busi­ness part­ner Adrian Ravin­sky knew that I was de­pressed in my cur­rent job and was aware of my re­tail back­ground and my love of run­ning, and he said, “Let’s open a run­ning store.” We’re just over a year into this ven­ture, and now my driv­ing force is to leave a re­ally pos­i­tive mark and run­ning is help­ing me build that bridge.

How has run­ning helped you?

The best thing I ever did was de­cid­ing to go for a run. Run­ning has helped me phys­i­cally, but re­ally it’s the men­tal com­po­nent. I don’t feel like my­self when I don’t run, and what I’ve learned over the years is run­ning ac­tu­ally makes us more hu­man.

What is your vi­sion?

To cre­ate a store en­vi­ron­ment where new run­ners can come in and not be in­tim­i­dated. Be­ing a run­ner to­day is dif­fer­ent. It’s a part of who you are and it’s about em­brac­ing the cul­ture, the ca­ma­raderie and, yes, be­ing part of a larger com­mu­nity.

Big­gest ca­reer achieve­ment?

When you’re into drugs, you lose all your “real” friends. The only phone num­ber I kept was my busi­ness part­ner be­cause he was the only per­son that was real about me and my ad­dic­tion. I shed my old life and turned my life around. What made the dif­fer­ence was start­ing Park­dale Road­run­ners. It’s here where I found my ex­tended fam­ily – my cho­sen fam­ily. So it was a turn­ing point in my life – that’s for sure.

What does suc­cess look like for you?

Mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions.

De­scribe Bond Run­ning in 140 char­ac­ters or less.

Bond Run­ning is a hub for run­ning cul­ture in the heart of Toronto’ s Chi­na­town.

Does Bond Run­ning sup­port any char­i­ties and why?

We are work­ing on an ef­fort that I think will have a very pos­i­tive im­pact on our com­mu­nity and those who are in need in our com­mu­nity. More news to come.

Why Bond Run­ning?

It’s the store’s prom­ise to carry prod­ucts that will help you in your run­ning pur­suits, and I also see it as a prom­ise to our com­mu­nity to be present. That’s im­por­tant.— CR

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