It is only natural to Tom and Kristiina Heinsoo that they continue their strong tradition of support and involvement with the Estonian community in Canada – after all, their family has been doing so for close to 70 years.
As the owners of Heinsoo Insurance Brokers, based in Toronto, they have seen firsthand the evolution of the Estonian community since the first generation settled here, and are honoured and excited to be an integral part of moving forward with this new phase.
“We want to build on the strong foundation laid by our parents,” Tom explained. “Now it is our turn to support the future.”
Tom and Kristiina, who live in Toronto, have two sons: Jakob, 10 and Mihkel, 8. They are supporting the development of the new International Estonian Centre (IEC) with a donation of $100,000.
“This gift is in memory of my mother and father, and a thank-you to the Estonian community which has supported our business since it was established by my father in 1951.”
Ilmar and Margot Heinsoo settled in Toronto after emigrating to Canada in 1950. Tom’s father Ilmar is well known to the community as he was actively involved in Estonian causes.
“He had a burning desire to see Estonia regain its independence, and devoted a lot of time to this pursuit,” Tom said.
In 1971 Ilmar was appointed Honorary Consul General of Estonia in Canada, a position he held for nearly 30 years. His efforts to restore an independent, democratic Estonia were recognized in 1996 when he was decorated with The Order of the National Coat of Arms by the President of Estonia.
Heinsoo Insurance, which provides a full range of insurance services as well as financial products, is still involved in the workings of the Consulate and supports its operations. The Consul is located next door to their offices at the Estonian House in Toronto. Tom also acts as Honorary Vice Consul.
Tom, who has been involved in the business for 33 years, has helped build a strong team. Marta Kivik, an integral part of the team, recently retired after working at the brokerage for over 40 years.
“Marta was part of our insurance family, and we extend to her much appreciation.” Both Marta and Tom have witnessed the evolution of the Estonian community and believe that its future is bright with the renewal brought with moving to a new facility.
Tom believes that adding to Estonians’ contribution to Toronto’s architecture with IEC’s stunning modern design by award-winning architect Alar Kongats will be a further draw and attract interest and attention. He said the location of the new centre in Toronto’s vibrant downtown core, close to transit and major cultural and academic institutions, is also a big plus.
In 2021, the Heinsoo brokerage will celebrate its 70th anniversary.
“This new building will attract new people into the community, including those who haven’t been involved before. It will strengthen what we already have, and build new links for all of us, both personally and professionally.”
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