Taylorpedia: social mind, giant heart

June 2020

In her signature pork-pie fedora, Taylor Gorrie is a girl on a mission. A mission to find Thunder Bay’s Best kid friendly establishments!

“I started when I was 9 years old,” says Taylor. “Every day I would listen to Magic 99.9 Mikeapedia and try to be the first caller with the right answer.

I never was, so one Easter, I got a Taylorpedia shirt. Mike Sadavoy from Magic saw it and invited me to the studio for a tour. I couldn’t believe how kid friendly it was. The next day, I created Taylorpedia on Facebook.”

Taylor has always been interested in safe, fun, kid-friendly activities in Thunder Bay, and she even wanted to review city parks back when she was 6 years old! She’s 14 now and, with the help of her mother, Meg, she has done over 300 interviews in these last 5 years. Bright, bubbly and intensely curious, Taylor admits to having a shy, introverted streak, and that’s a challenge each and every time.

“The hardest part of doing interviews for me is when the camera starts rolling,” says Taylor. “I’m so scared I’ll mess up, even though I know we can edit it out later. The ideas for the interviews come from the amazing people and places we have in Thunder Bay. I want to highlight them and share them with the world.”

Once an ‘interviewee’ has finished a Taylorpedia interview, they are presented with a special Thank You Certificate to remember and promote the Kid-Friendly review program.

“The certificates were my Grandma’s idea,” she says with a grin. “We were sitting around discussing how Taylorpedia would work and my grandma had the idea to present the business or person with a certificate so they can show case it in their window. People love them! I’m well over 300 certificates now.”

Taylor started out interviewing/reviewing people, events, places and things that were of particular interest to young people in the city. I asked if that was changing as she gets older. 

“Yes and no,” she says. “I want to keep showcasing family-friendly places because I think that’s important. Most places I’ve interviewed are for all ages.

I do want to talk about more serious issues now too, though, that would relate with teens, like mental health. People don’t realize mental health affects all ages.” 

Taylor is a young woman with a bright future, and I asked where she saw Taylorpedia going in the future, and what a career might look like for such a curious, socially minded person.

“I want to keep Taylorpedia running as long as I can,” she says excitedly. “When I got my knee injury, I had to take a break from it, but now it’s starting back up and I’m excited. It brings me happiness! Career wise: I have so many ideas. I want to take welding or something with design work. Right now, I do a lot of digital art and costume design. I would even love to make mascot outfits.”

She’s clearly creative and capable, and up for anything, interview-wise. I asked her if she’d faced any challenges during the last 5 years.

“Camp Quality,” Taylor says. “That was one of my first interviews and I wasn’t sure what the camp was about at first. When it was explained to me, I cried.

All those kids were smiling and so happy I was there. It really touched me, and I will never forget that experience. It was a perfect day.” 

And the most fun?

“Coleman Hell! Wow, I had a blast! I have been a huge fan since he first started. He was playing Wake the Giant and because of my disability, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go, but he made all the arrangements and I was VIP! The interview was fun, and we laughed a lot. I always tell people that he’s a true Thunder Bay guy because he has a Giant Heart! 

Clearly, Taylor does too. I asked her what she would say to other kids who might be considering a life of social media?

“Go for it!! If it’s something they want to try out, and if it makes them happy, then awesome!! But they need to be prepared for both positive and negative feedback. Also, they will have people recognize them all the time. I love it but sometimes I get super shy. I’m still not used to it!”

To find out more about this positive young woman, check out her Facebook page at www.Taylorpedia.com.

Heather L. Dickson is a photoshop guru, zoologist and author of 6 novels.

Visit her website at www.hleightondickson.com

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