Four Misunderstood Rock Songs

The rock anthem: a three-minute catchy hook that gets you grooving and makes you feel good.  And maybe you’ll want to dance or play some air guitar. Rock ‘n’ roll was born in the 1950s, when the first wave of baby boomers hit their teens, complete with a disposable income their Depression-era parents never had. […]

My Grandmother’s Passing

A week ago Monday my grandmother died. I’ve been putting off writing this, probably because putting my emotions in a public forum has never been my style.  I’ve written about my feelings before–and I can be quite good at it–but it’s something I’d rather avoid at all costs. My Grandmother’s Last Years My grandmother was […]

Bicycling Around Toronto

Background Living in midtown Toronto, I had become reliant on public transit to get around the city. The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), I assumed, had a good service in the city core, so over eight years ago, I enrolled in its discount plan (if you get a year’s worth of monthly passes, you get the […]

Single in Toronto

According to the 2006 Canada census, unmarried people over the age of 15 outnumbered married couples for the first time in Canadian history.  While the 2006 census is itself history, the demographic shift is remarkable: we are no longer marrying or pairing ourselves in the same urgency as our parents and grandparents.  The cause could […]

Fame for the Freak

I Am a Freak   In 1968 Andy Warhol, at an art show in Stockholm, Sweden, said, “In the future everyone will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” Warhol, of course, was the pop-art guru who inspired the baby-boom generation to create youth-centred mass art.  Today baby boomers may be retiring, yet their subsequent generations are still grasping for […]

Honest Ed’s Closes: The End of an Era

Introduction On December 31, 2016 — yesterday — Honest Ed’s closed its doors forever.  In the new year, the building and possibly some neighbouring historical buildings on Markham Street will be demolished to make way for a large condominium project. A Toronto institution for over 60 years, Honest Ed’s was famous for its building (actually two buildings joined by […]

Top Toronto Radio Shows of the ’90s

Radio-radio I’d sit alone and watch your light. My only friend through teenage nights. And everything I had to know I heard it on my radio. Radio Ga Ga, Queen Remember when radio was good? Radio’s glory days were from the ’20s to ’50s, the heyday of scripted radio.  In the mid-twentieth century, unregulated US radio operated in Mexico, their […]

Muhammad Ali: Why He Should Be Remembered

An icon passed away. A boxer.  A three-time heavyweight champion. A poet.  A comedian. A political activist.  A humanitarian. Muhammad Ali. Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of boxing.  I’ve never understood the appeal of watching two men attempt to beat each other to a pulp.  Outside the ring, they would be arrested for the same thing. (Although […]