Instagram is full of BFFs travelling the globe together and showing off everything they do in their free time. And sometimes, the best friends you see on the screen aren't human ones! Kiki and Leila are a set of bestie Barbie dolls from Ontario, who simply adore spending time in Montreal.
The Robidolls Instagram account currently has 1,099 followers. But the accounts social media presence is growing daily due to their fun styles, colourful loft decor and of course, the dolls' love for Montreal.
The pair were even recently spotted roaming around Quebec City, another one of our favourite cities.
We decided that we wanted to know more about this dynamic duo, so we reached out to Jena Robitaille, the face behind this unique page, to see how it all came to be.
Robitaille is from Ontario and typically does most of the content creation on her own. But, she did tell us that her supportive husband lends her a helping hand whenever it's needed.
She told us that as a shy person, she always admired online bloggers and YouTubers but was never able to put herself out there in the same way they do.
"I love to travel and create things but I've always been too shy to showcase it."
The mother of two went on to tell us that one day she "came across a picture of a Barbie doll wearing an outfit from a fashion influencer as outfit inspiration and that's when the idea of starting a doll account first came to [her]."
Like many of us, when she was younger, Barbies were the main toys she played with.
And since she loves to explore "places and craft things" she decided to base this account with all the things she loves.
Her brother is more experienced in toy photography and was able to give her some tips and tricks when it comes to creating this account.
Yes, toy photography is a thing and it's awesome.
We also asked her what the online doll world is like and she opened up to us letting us know that it's actually "quite welcoming," and that a lot of the people behind these pages are "very friendly and genuine."
Jena has actually found herself creating friendships and even having the desire to meet some people face to face one day.
"It's such a heart-warming and talented community."
I know we're not the only ones who hope to run into this duo one day in our city, so keep your eyes open folks!
The man who was constantly being referred to as a "warrior" in the past few days, Brendan Gallagher, is proving himself to be exactly that. The player will be back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals even though many questioned whether he has a concussion after leaving the ice with a bloody face in the last game.
On June 30, just hours before the next game, the 29-year-old player gave an update on his health.
"I have a pretty specific way of reacting when I have a concussion, usually involves me yelling a lot. I think the trainers understood. I was with it, pretty calm," Gallagher said.
"They've seen me when I have those things, there were no worries there. They obviously checked on me the day after — not all that concerned about it."
The player then continued to say he's ready to move on. On Tuesday, interim coach Luke Richardson confirmed that the forward's injury would not cause him to miss a game.
"Gally is Gally, he has marks all over his face every game. Right now, he doesn't look very good. His face looks like a road map. He's a warrior and we're counting on him. He'll be back to do what he does best tomorrow [Wednesday night]."
Montreal is a hotbed of ableism, especially when it comes to nightlife, says Alicia-Ann Pauld.
"In Montreal, one of the things that is most inaccessible, in my opinion, is nightlife," said the 23-year-old Concordia University student. "Things like bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, they are just so inaccessible for people with reduced mobility."
Pauld, who has muscular dystrophy, wants the city's vaunted party scene to be way more accessible for disabled people, and even went so far as to call Montreal "one of the least accessible cities in North America," in a recent Disability After Darkpodcast episode, though she admitted to not having travelled much.
"But the reason why I said that is because I honestly cannot imagine a city being worse," the writer and disability rights activist told MTL Blog.
Boulevard Saint-Laurent 'is just an absolute nightmare'
For disabled people, even making it downtown can be a struggle because not all metro stations are accessible.
Then they might not be able to enter their chosen establishment because it does not have a usable ramp or the business might be located up a flight of stairs, she said.
And boulevard Saint-Laurent, arguably the city's best party street, is also one of its least accessible, said Pauld.
"That street is just an absolute nightmare. Not a thing on that street is accessible," she said, listing a number of multi-level clubs and bars on the Main that don't have elevators.
She called Montreal's bars and clubs: "gendered and sexualized social spaces and when they're inaccessible we make it difficult for disabled people, and people with reduced mobility, to be social, sexual, gendered beings, which everybody else gets to be, because they get to go to these places way more easily than we do."
Pauld did give a shout-out to three establishments that she said are accessible including Bar Ganadara on rue Sainte-Catherine, "great Korean food, great drinks," and the Atwater Cocktail Club on avenue Atwater.
Disabled people have just as much a desire for drink, drugs, and inclusion as anybody else, said Pauld.
"We're going to need people to understand that disabled people belong in every type of space," she said. "We're going through the same stuff. We have the same sexual awakenings and we have the same desires to meet people, and to make friends, and to be in relationships, and to drink, and do drugs, or to go out and party, like we want to go out and do all these things but because there's this belief that we don't, we aren't included in those spaces."
Disabled people have all those same needs, she said, "and to pretend that people with disabilities don't is obviously wrong but also really violent because it's literally stripping away from us something that is quite vital in terms of our development and our overall happiness as individuals."
How can Montreal become more inclusive?
Montreal is full of old buildings that can be less than friendly to people with disabilities.
And though the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, which controls the laws regarding the accessibility of buildings, adheres to a grandfather clause exempting some historical structures from having to comply with more current regulations, Pauld would like to see a renewed commitment from the city to make things more inclusive.
"I know that a lot the charm that is Montreal is how old the buildings are and while I understand that in terms of the architecture, I think it's important to understand this city should not keep its people out," said Pauld.
"We shouldn't allow the city to discriminate against those that live in it or the tourists who want to visit it," she continued.
"Every single building should have to be accessible by law."
According to the Politique gouvernementale pour accroître la participation sociale des personnes handicapées, Quebec had more than 750,000 disabled persons in 2006, which was 10% of the population.
With things reopening all across the city, Montrealers might be starting to remember just how expensive going out can get. This is why we've put together a list of free things to do in Montreal this June.
Address: Galerie Blanc; 1114, rue Sainte-Catherine E., Montreal, QC
When: Opening again in "early June"
Why You Need To Go: Galerie Blanc always has the coolest outdoor exhibits, and it's totally free to explore different works of art.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled For Fanfare de l'Île
Address: All across the city
Why You Need To Look Out For Them: Fanfare de l'Île is a group of local musicians who, in the last year, have organized spontaneous marching bands throughout the city. If you get a chance to hear them play the sweet sounds of New Orleans jazz, you're sure to feel an instant sense of joy.
Why You Need To Go: If you feel like taking a little trip out of the city to take a walk among the apple trees and see all the flowers during the blossoming season, Quinn Farm is the spot to do it. Just make sure to make a reservation before you go.
Giving back to the community is at the heart of Desjardins' values. Every year, the financial cooperative shares part of its surplus earnings with its members. The individual amounts that each person receives are called member dividends.
Not all financial institutions give out dividends, so you might be wondering if they apply to you. At Desjardins, as long as you're a caisse member, you could receive a dividend.
If you're already a member, knowing how dividends are calculated can give you an idea of how much you could get back this year.
Here's how dividends work.
First, the cooperative has to be doing well enough financially to afford paying out dividends. As long as that condition is met (among a few others), members can attend their caisse's annual general meeting to vote on how they want to redistribute surplus earnings. After the vote, Desjardins calculates and pays out individual dividends.
The whole process happens once every year. This year, dividends will be deposited into members' accounts between May 31 and June 14, 2021.
The total individual amount that's paid out to eligible members is made up of two kinds of dividends: product dividends and volume dividends. These are both calculated differently, so you'll need to take several criteria into account to find out how much you could receive.
You could receive a product dividend of up to $50 if, over the course of 2020, you had at least one product in each of these product lines:
Cards, loans and credit
Savings and investments
If you're 30 years old or younger, you're eligible if you had a product in only three of the four lines. In other words, if you're 25 and you had a savings account, a credit card and renter's insurance with Desjardins all through 2020, you could get $50 back.
These dividends are calculated based on two things: the average account balance (or premium, for insurance products) that you've kept all year in each product line, and the percentage that members voted on during your caisse's annual general meeting. For every $1,000 you'll get an amount back.
If you want to have a say in your caisse's decisions, you can attend your caisse's annual general meeting. These meetings give all Desjardins members an equal opportunity to speak up about what matters most to them. Plus, with the meetings all online, it's never been easier to attend.
While you're waiting to receive your 2020 member dividend, you can log in to AccèsD to easily check how much was deposited into your account in previous years.
If you're using the Desjardins mobile app, simply scroll down to the "Quick access" section and click on the "My dividend" icon. From there, you can pick a year from the drop-down menu. In your web browser, the "My dividend" tab is in the right-hand menu.
This year, a total of 330 million dollars' worth of member dividends will be paid out. If you're a Desjardins member and you've never received a dividend, take a look at their list of eligible products.
To learn more about member dividends and find out if you could be eligible, check out Desjardins' website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.