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20 minutes | 5 months ago
This is the story behind Blake Street in Toronto
Rod Cohen has been the Executive Director of the Blake Boultbee Youth Outreach Service on Blake Street for over 30 years. The small, hidden street played a big part in the development of Toronto, and has a mysterious charm. However, there are some unique challenges faced by the community of state-of-the-art public housing, as it is sandwiched between more affluent neighbourhoods like Leslieville and Riverdale, who according to Cohen, have refused to acknowledge its existence.
27 minutes | 5 months ago
Exploring Toronto's sexy past from Sir Sandford Fleming to Elizabeth Taylor
Adam Bunch is the host of the Canadiana web series, and the author of both the Toronto Book of the Dead, and the forthcoming Toronto Book of Love. We explore a few different stories of love, jealousy, divorce, scandal, and dedication, like that time Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton got engaged at the King Edward hotel, or when Sandford Fleming broke up with his girlfriend over a sunset.
14 minutes | 6 months ago
This is what it's really like to live on the Toronto Islands
Julian Ganton has found himself back living on the Toronto Islands where he and his family grew up. He also runs Toronto Island SUP, and is passionate about preserving and documenting the unique wetlands. As a full-time Islander, Julian talks about what it was like having to swim home after missing the last ferry, the cool wildlife, the trash problem, and the healing power of connecting with nature.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
This is how Sook-Yin Lee became a VJ at MuchMusic and what she's up to now
Sook-Yin Lee recalls her time at MuchMusic in the 90s and early 2000s, including the unexpected job offer from Moses Znaimer that started it all. She talks about the move to Toronto, her memorable first day, celebrities, Speaker's Corner, and having the freedom to be experimental on television. Lee also touches on her current project, a feature film called Death and Sickness, made entirely at home during lockdown.
18 minutes | 6 months ago
The making of Today's Special and how it was the wackiest TV show in Toronto history
Nina Keogh talks about working in children's television in the 70s, 80s and 90s, on shows like The Friendly Giant, Polka Dot Door, and Today's Special, where she took on the role of the rhyming mouse, Muffy. She also discusses growing up with a family of puppeteers, the logistics behind operating one for TV, and getting freaked out by mannequins while filming after-hours at the old Simpsons department store.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
This is what it's like to live on a private street in Toronto
Former Percy Street resident of 23 years, Cynthia Wilkey talks about what it was like to live on a private laneway in Toronto's Corktown neighbourhood. Plus, Wilkey touches on the mysterious wad of cash that was found in her rafters during renovations in 1988, and the unprecedented court case that followed.
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Russell Oliver is the Cashman behind Toronto's most unusual jewellery store
Russell Oliver has been in the gold and jewellery business for the past 50 years, so as you can imagine, he's got some interesting stories about his iconic commercials, celebrity encounters, legal issues, and interacting with fans. In what could be his last interview as the "Cashman," Oliver discusses the secrets to his success, including where he got the inspiration for his "oh yeah" tagline.
20 minutes | 7 months ago
Howard Street in Toronto is a city within a block
Sasha Ortega and her family own Tinuno, a Filipino restaurant on Howard Street in one of Toronto's most densely populated communities. Sasha talks about growing up in St. James Town, how the area has changed over the years, and what the future holds with the addition of two luxury condos. We also discuss the challenges the restaurant industry is facing these days, and finding creative ways to continue supporting local businesses.
24 minutes | 7 months ago
The past and the future of the El Mocambo in Toronto according to owner Michael Wekerle
When Michael Wekerle bought the historic El Mocambo in 2014 on an impulse for $3.8 million, he had no idea how expensive and long the process would be. When it was finally time to open, the pandemic hit. Wekerle talks about growing up near Yonge and Finch in Toronto, working on Bay Street, and future plans for the El Mo. Plus, they found some cool stuff while digging out the basement, and somehow, we end up talking about Ronnie Hawkin's old deck chairs.
19 minutes | 7 months ago
Plans for the Scarborough Bluffs means changes for the Toronto shoreline
Jane Fairburn recalls her traumatic experience slipping down Killer Hill at the Scarborough Bluffs, and how that inspired her to write Along the Shore. She also discusses the history of the cliffs, and their connection to the rest of the city, as well as Scarborough's epic waterfront.
17 minutes | 7 months ago
Nude beaches and resorts near Toronto and the rising popularity of naturism
If you've ever been curious about naturism, which is slightly different than nudism, Greg Snow, the president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists and resident of Bare Oaks talks about the misconceptions and benefits of being nude in public, and why as a first-timer he wouldn’t go to Hanlan’s Point to de-robe. Just don't forget your towel, and mask!
15 minutes | 7 months ago
Little Jamaica in Toronto at risk from transit-based gentrification
Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon moved to Toronto about five years ago, he wrote a song called High Rise. The tune is about the lack of affordable housing, and the negative effects of gentrification, especially when it comes to racialized neighbourhoods, like Little Jamaica. We discuss what can be done to help protect the cultural and musical history along the stretch of Eglinton West, as well as the people who have lived and worked there for decades.
21 minutes | 8 months ago
Canada's Drag Race winner Priyanka is more than just Toronto's most famous queen
As the first winner of the first season of Canada's Drag Race, Priyanka discusses going through a once-in-a-lifetime experience during a pandemic, balancing drag with a day job, and coming to terms with being gay. Plus, which Toronto queens should be on season two of the show (if there is one), and prior to all those Emmy wins, had Priyanka, or anyone, heard from Rupaul?
2 minutes | 8 months ago
Introducing the blogTO podcast
We love Toronto, and we want to shout it from the mountaintops! Of course, we know the city isn't perfect (it's far from it), but we want to tell the stories, and talk to the people who make it weird and wonderful. Hosted by Dani Stover, regular episodes will shine a light on the corners of Toronto you never knew existed and the ones you've always wanted to know more about.
17 minutes | 9 months ago
Why this tiny Toronto restaurant is eliminating tipping
Toronto police are warning the public of a string of incidents involving a creepy man harassing women in a white SUV. A bar and music venue that has been around for 74 years is closing because of a dispute with their landlord. Plus, Ten Restaurant at 1132 College Street is reopening next week with safety measures in place and 18 per cent added to the bill to abolish tipping. While not the first to do this, the move was met with a lot of hate online.
16 minutes | 9 months ago
What it's like to be a graffiti artist in Toronto
A Toronto restaurant group is implementing a 15% tip on all takeout orders. Out-of-towners tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting a Muskoka resort over the August long weekend. The city just introduced a new online reservation system for gyms and swimming pools. Plus, what it's like to be a working graffiti artist in the city, and how the community feels about people vandalizing their work.
13 minutes | 9 months ago
How one Toronto strip club has reopened in Stage 3 and what's different
Premier Doug Ford is happy for Russia, but is a little skeptical of the country's new coronavirus vaccine. Ontario reported just 33 new cases of COVID-19. Weather radar near Lake Erie captured hundreds of thousands of birds. Plus, Toronto's iconic gentlemen's club, Filmores Hotel, has reopened in Stage 3, and they still have no plans to close, despite the building being sold to developers.
14 minutes | 9 months ago
Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia has some advice for disappointed Maple Leaf lovers
Toronto police responded to a strange incident on Cherry Beach where two bloodied men were brandishing chainsaws. Ontario announced a $6 million grant program to help police buy more surveillance cameras. A customer lashed out at employees at a nail salon on Queen West, and made an anti-Asian racist remark. Plus, Superfan Nav Bhatia has been keeping busy, even without Raptors basketball, but now that it's back, he's forced to watch most of the games at home.
15 minutes | 9 months ago
This inclusive new cycling club is taking over the streets of Toronto
Doug Ford called Donald Trump a "backstabber" after the US president slapped tariffs on all aluminum imports. Canada plans to fight back with their own tariffs, to the tune of $3.6 billion. A popular French restaurant in Little India that was set to take off in 2020 announced they will close permanently at the end of the month. Plus, Man Dem Cycling Club started as a bit of a joke, but has quickly transformed into an inclusive collective of Toronto bike enthusiasts.
18 minutes | 9 months ago
Site of demolished high school in Toronto has turned into a beach with no water
Another crane collapsed into an intersection in Regent Park today, causing a power outage, and thankfully, no major injuries. A massive service disruption affected Bell and Telus customers in parts of Ontario. Plus, the site of a demolished high school in Bloordale Village has been reclaimed by the neighbourhood, and turned into a beach with no water.
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