People of Port Arthur: Showcasing stories of people in Thunder Bay, Ont.
The blog, People of Port Arthur, was named the best blog in Thunder Bay for 2017, by readers of The Walleye
Writing more than 200 profiles of people living in northwestern Ontario in a matter of just over a year — that was how Leah Morningstar spent much of her time in 2017.
"In the summer of 2016 I moved to Court Street," Morningstar said, "and I just walked around all the time with my kids …and I just started running into people that I knew."
Amazed by how many people she knew in her new neighbourhood, Morningstar said she wanted to find a way to keep track of everyone she met. That's when a close friend suggested she copy the style of a popular blog that profiles strangers — Humans of New York — to keep a record of everyone she met, both strangers and old friends.
"I said, that's right! I'm going to rip off Humans of New York and I'm going to make it my own," Morningstar said, "so my stories are sometimes heart warming, but mostly humorous."
With a total of 244 profiles to date, Morningstar said she mostly just walks up to strangers she finds interesting and strikes up a conversation.
"Because [the blog] is only a year old some people are very wary of me, so I've got business cards to prove that I'm legit and I'm not just collecting pictures," Morningstar said.
Since starting this project, the blog has allowed Morningstar a chance to not only catch up with her old friends but also meet new people in the city.
However, this isn't Morningstar's first blog.
As a mother of three young boys, Morningstar started a blog called Eating Dirt as a way to keep record of all the silly things her children would say.
"That was when my oldest was two [years old] and now he's nine," Morningstar said "and it just grew from there. [I] write about my kids, write about how hard it is to be a mom with little tiny children and that grew to spotlighting local businesses and doing giveaways."
Today Morningstar said People of Port Arthur has kept her so busy that Eating Dirt has had to take a bit of a back seat.
In an interview with CBC Thunder Bay, Morningstar also cleared up a common misconception about her blog, and who she profiles.
"You don't have to live in Port Arthur," she said, "but I am not going to walk to Westfort and take your picture ... but if you come to me I will take your picture," Morningstar said.
On top of those two blogs along with three young kids, Morningstar is also an artist who creates unique art and sells it through her Pop Up Prints by Eating Dirt Facebook page as well as local craft shows.