About Me

I’m Tracey Arial.

I connect Canadians to their communities with ancestor, business and creator profiles.

Why? Because I believe that strength comes from collaboration on multiple levels to create a vibrant society that inspires all of us to achieve our life purpose for good.

As a 56-year-old creative entrepreneur who lives in Verdun, Quebec with my husband, two adult children and their two cats, my goal is to ensure that every Canadian knows why they are important to that end.

The best way I know how to do that is through writing profiles. A profile is a 1,200 or so word story that describes the essence of an individual, place or institution.

Over the past 28 years, I’ve written hundreds of profiles as an author, journalist and family historian. In each story, I focus on what’s unique about the focus individual or institution, trying to emphasize how they work to make the world better. The necessity of writing well quickly has led me to create a four-step process that I teach others in my consulting, courses and presentations.

My greatest passion consists of exploring what it means to be Canadian, which is why I created the Unapologetically Canadian podcast.

I grew up in Ontario. My first four jobs consisted of media relations for Australia, Florida and Ontario, where I innovated a formula for comparing media coverage to advertising. I’ve run my own creative business since 1993 after moving to Montreal to become a writer. In the past decade, I’ve co-founded two non-profits, a non-profit cooperative and a publishing company.

Thanks to these companies, my professional life has become seasonal.

  • During the winter, I profile ancestors, creators and businesses in articles and books and offer courses to help others do the same.
  • In the summer, I help Verdun residents eat local healthy food through CAUS, a non-profit solidarity coop.

Read my arialview.ca blog for ideas, historical stories, and information about people and opportunities throughout our country.

Get tips about how to live seasonally, stay active in Montreal or write well via my weekly newsletter, arialview.

For a closer look at how we may connect, explore my courses and services.

My Profile Your Business course helps entrepreneurs and nonprofit business leaders attract perfect fit clients, employees and partners by

My profile your business course helps business leaders write purpose stories that combine their unique expertise and personality to attract ideal clients, employees and partners. As Canadians, we struggle with this, because these kinds of stories often come across as bragging or over-the-top. By writing a profile the way a journalist would, you can avoid bragging and just focus on telling the truth. This is perfect for Canadian creators and business founders struggling to write compelling about pages, biographies, books or social media content.

Business History

Career changes have occurred frequently in my life.

I grew up in Ontario and spent my tween years picking peas.

Worked at McDonalds during most of highschool until the last year, when I got to work at the local school board office instead.

I was the first person in my family to attend university, a feat my sisters and cousins duplicated. Paid my way through university selling magazines and serving as a bar hostess, with a John Cougar Mellancamp concert highlight.

After graduating university, I worked for CFS-Services, where I used a Wang word-processor four times the size of my current desk.

Then I got the jobs mentioned above handling media relations for Australia, Florida and Ontario.

Notable Nonfiction 

As an author, I’ve written articles and books about active transportation, business, Canadian history, food, genealogy, politics and travel.

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you can hire me to profile you, your company and your employees for your annual report, funding proposals, newsletters, or your website.

You can also take my “profile your business” course that teaches you how to do it yourself.

For editors, I write Canadian business profiles, community action stories, Montreal news and historical features.

To explore these options, set up a phone or Skype call through my Bookable calendar.

Urban Agriculture and Food

I am a certified permaculture designer and food establishment manager.

My urban agriculture projects are all done from within a nonprofit solidarity cooperative that creates urban abundance. The organization is known as “CAUS” from the initials of its French name.

CAUS also forms part of Grand Potager, a recently-founded non-profit organization that operates out of the Verdun municipal greenhouses.

I highly recommend that Verdun residents interested in local sustainability join these organizations. Links to each appear in the urban agriculture menu.

Other Nonprofit Membership

I hold membership in four non-profit organizations:

  • the Montreal Press Club,
  • the Canadian Freelance Guild,
  • the Quebec Writers Federation and
  • Safe EMF.

Political Activism

After a lifetime of political neutrality as a journalist, I decided to run to become borough councillor in 2017. I lost and have no plans to run again soon, but don’t regret the experience as I remain convinced that we need leaders at every political level to respond to individual citizen needs.

My beliefs range widely from left to right, depending on the issue. Here are a few of my convictions:

  • Good services should match the level of taxes we pay.
  • Stronger enforcement of fewer rules should be a goal of our governments.
  • Despite my strong Catholic faith, I believe that a woman should be able to have a safe abortion if she wants.
  • I don’t believe in capital punishment.
  • We need strong regulations for firearms, food safety, pharmaceuticals and technological infrastructure.
  • The colour of someone’s house is or how they choose to decorate should not be a public concern.
  • Canada needs strong laws to protect air, food, green spaces, heritage, housing, green spaces, public spaces, security, water and wild spaces.
  • Businesses shouldn’t have to jump hurdles to operate.

The balance between collective and minority rights is hard to achieve, but I think various governments have done well by enabling gay marriages, private sex lives, universal health care and mortgages. I’m in favour of all of these policies.

We need to reconsider our positions on biotechnology, community resilience, development, economic viability, education, energy, low-cost housing, the democratic deficit and the transfer of public resources into private hands.


The Professional Writers Association of Canada awarded me Quebec’s Regional Volunteer award in 2015. Earlier, I received the Lawrence Jackson Memorial Award of Achievement in 2009.

Le Vitrail gave me a certificate honouring volunteer involvement in 2010.

I proudly display these awards in my office along with:

  • a thank you plaque from the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Quebec,
  • a Florida Department of Commerce certificate of appreciation,
  • a first jump skydiving certificate and
  • my Canada Cord from the Girl Guides of Canada.

Ten Things I Can’t Do

To balance off some of the earnestness in this post, here’s a list of ten things I can’t do.

  1. Buy clothes that fit my husband
  2. Hang pictures straight
  3. Laugh quietly
  4. Keep a tune during karaoke
  5. Keep still
  6. Make a cup of drinkable coffee
  7. Recognize dark humour
  8. Remember names and phone numbers
  9. Stop crying when I’m upset
  10. Tell a polite lie
  • […] my case, my page describes my seasonal Canadian life. I describe who needs my services and how working with me will […]

  • Peter Himpfen says:

    I have just read your post on Sgt. Himpfen. I you would like any info on the himpfen family let me know.


  • Jennifer Rae-Brown says:

    Hello Tracey,

    We met at the editors’ conference and I am finally emailing Ottawa vendors I know to tell them about your farmers’ market! Sorry I’ve been so slow. Meanwhile, just found your blog: it’s wonderful. Kudos to you.

    More soon.


  • Jack Ruttan says:

    Keep it up, Tracey!

  • John says:

    Beautiful, intelligent and informed. Verdun has a real treasure in the Arial View. Keep blogging!

  • Kimm Horne says:

    You should run for local government.. City councillor, ward councillor , the equivalent of your local MP in Verdun. Perhaps a MPP in the future.. Your much more informed and engaged then most … Keep up the great work.. An admirer from afar.

  • Mary Lamey says:

    Hi Tracey, Just discovered your site. I like it very much and share many of your values. Keep of the good work! Mary Lamey, real estate agent, Century 21. Verdun resident, member Southwest United Church and Mission.

  • Steven Laperrière says:

    Hello Tracey,

    Referring to the articles in the suburan’s digital edition of january 16, 2013, (pages 10, 15 & 16) a huge thank you for great articles on our borough’s issues on double taxation for water and garbage services as well as the 153 Chatelle house demoliton. Your articles reflect in words and in spirit what we said and meant. We greatly appreciate it and we hope our concillors will have heard us and take proper actions.

    At least, we know that with articles like yours, nobody can say that they are not aware of the issues as of now.

    Best regards,

    Steven Laperrière

  • Sonja Susnjar says:

    Hey Tracey,

    Very nice, certainly responds to a need. Keep up the good work,


  • PG says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere!

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