Owner and Founder of Scarborough Passport Photo Centre and
North York Passport Photo Centre
"I have many people to thank for my success; God being the first, my parents, the prayers I get from those who have walked into my life, and of course, Canada. My first business was a dry cleaner, and then I branched out into several other businesses and finally ended up in the photo business. I'm a true believer that the good you do in life is what your legacy will be all about.
I opened the North York Passport Photo location in 2000 and the Scarborough location in 2003. After opening the Scarborough location, I learned the true meaning and hardship of what it is for an immigrant. I learned never to judge and never to assume. I learned to take the time to listen to others' pain and put myself in their shoes and think: Would I want my parents or child to be treated in any way but with respect? The answer was pretty clear. Each aspect of our operation is and has always been geared towards being reliable and making a positive difference in people's lives.
Growing up, I made a deal with God. I told him that if he allowed me to become a successful person, I'd dedicate my time to easing his burden, never let him down, and always make him proud. If I don't do this each day, I don't get to eat. If you know me, you can tell I'm not lacking a meal or a snack. LOL!
2020 was by far the worst year of my life. I lost my husband and COVID came into this world. I had gut-wrenching pain, anger, and emotions written all over me. If I had a choice, would I stay at home and cry myself to sleep or go out there and never let others undergo the pain I'm experiencing? I chose to help. The sad part is that helping others has relieved me of my pain. You don't forget, but at least you can understand that you're not alone. And if I can be the reason for wiping away your tears, then I'm worthy of being your friend and child.
Yes, COVID has been a tragic period in our lives, but that should not be why we turn away from anyone, and I mean anyone.
We are proud Canadians, and that is supposed to stand out from the rest. Canada, to me, is all about giving and helping our seniors, our immigrants, and anyone in need. I want to reclaim my country, Canada!!! I want Canada to be louder and prouder for the better.
My name is Yasmin Samji, and this is my Canada!"