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Heartworks a hit with kids, parents (6 photos)

Children's art studio celebrates grand opening; 'This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done aside from having my own kids,' owner says

When Lindsey Toutant left her job at the Orillia Public Library to open her own business, she knew it was a leap of faith.

One month after opening Heartworks Children’s Art Studio, it’s paying off.

“It’s been going well. It’s growing every week,” Toutant said Saturday during the grand opening of Heartworks at 471 Laclie St. “I’m so grateful to our community. They’ve been so supportive.”

Heartworks offers programs and activities geared to youth, and they are designed in a way that is supportive of those on the autism spectrum, including Toutant’s son.

“I felt there weren’t enough autism programs in the community,” she said.

She wasn’t alone, as it turns out.

“The common thing I’m hearing from parents is, ‘This is exactly what we needed,’” she said.

In addition to drop-in opportunities, Heartsworks offers four core programs that run for five weeks at a time. Two of them are already fully booked.

While the studio and its toys and supplies are designed to provide a sensory-friendly experience for kids on the autism spectrum, all children are welcome.

“Whatever is to the benefit of children with autism will not be a detriment to everyone else,” Toutant said.

She plans to eventually employ adults with autism at Heartworks, and she’s working on partnering with the Couchiching Jubilee House to offer discounted programming to its clients.

“This is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done aside from having my own kids,” she said with a smile.

To find out more about Heartworks Children’s Art Studio, call 705-259-8900 or check out its website.


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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central Ontario news desk in Simcoe County and Newmarket.
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