Photography by Becca Lemire
For 23 years Jennifer Valentyn eand Torontonians started their mornings together on Breakfast Television.
With a community of dedicated viewers who shared an outpouring of encouragement and resilience, Jennifer proved to the masses that when life hands you a lemon, well, you just have to make lemonade.
From hosting the Bachelor and Bachlorette aftershows on the The W Network, becoming the co-host radio station Q107, to launching an initiative with her daughter, Jennifer shares that when one door closes, it might just be the best thing that can happen to you.
Tell us about a time that life handed you lemons. Did you make lemonade?
I was devastated when I was told my segment on Breakfast Television was cancelled. I was overwhelmed with messages of love and encouragement from viewers of the show. They shared with me their own stories of loss and how they built themselves back up. I heard from many women my age who could relate to my story. I will never forget that amazing support - it was instrumental in my healing. It gave me the inspiration to move on to pursue other opportunities I never thought were possible such as hosting The Bachelor and Bachelorette Canada After Show on W Network and co-hosting the morning show on Q107 Toronto, Toronto’s Rock Station. I also started an on-line blog with my daughter, Mother Daughter Date. Our mission is to inspire other mothers and daughters to come together and make a difference in their communities.
Describe your ideal work environment to get sh*t done.
My computer at home. I make myself a big cup of tea and get to work. Yes, it can be noisy with my son playing the drums in the basement and my daughter and her friends making something to eat in the kitchen but as a mom, I am good at tuning things out.
How much of your success has come from taking risks versus playing it safe?
I played it safe for 28 years at the same company. I had to have faith in myself and take risks at a time in my life where I never thought I would have to.
“I had to have faith in myself and take risks at a time in my life where I never thought I would have to.”
How do you measure success in your career?
Happiness. Choose a career that feeds your soul and you will be successful.
You're 30 minutes away from walking into an important meeting. What do you do to get yourself in the right headspace?
I get there early, get a cup of tea and go over my notes.
What is something that you read, watch or listen to regularly?
Survivor. They are now accepting Canadians. I think I'd be great on the island!
What excites you most about your career?
Making people happy.
Finding time for yourself can be difficult with a busy schedule. Do you have a self-care routine and what does that look like?
I don't have one. I totally live in the moment. No day is like the next but I do love to take walks with my dog and husband every day.
Remaining fresh and innovative can be hard. How do you stay creative and where do you look for inspiration?
I'm always willing to learn. I have two teenagers who help me with that. I am never afraid to try something new. That's what keeps you young.
What is something on your bucket list?
Travel is always on my bucket list. I want to see and do it all. Iceland and Japan are two places I would love to visit.
What's next for you? Can you tell us a little bit about something exciting you're working on?
I always have something on the go. Right now, I'm doing a fun segment with Corus called Where's Jenn? You never know where I'll be and what I'll be highlighting.