Robert Hough is a novelist and recovering Mississaugan. His fiction has been praised by all sorts of literary types, and his new book, The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan was just released through House of Anansi. We spoke with Robert about Toronto’s coming of age, the mistakes young writers make, and why developing characters is everything. Robert also talked about achieving authenticity in his work, working through moral struggles, and the best places to eat in our fair town.
Alex Josephson is an architect and designer who grew up in Forest Hill. The Ontario Association of Architects recently named his studio,PARTISANS, Best Emerging Practice. And he has a 3D printer. We spoke with Alex about his time in Italy, how the City robbed Frank Gehry of a “historic masterpiece,” and the uncanny brilliance of the CN Tower. Alex also talked about Union Station’s mind-blowing revitalization, the problem with the New Toronto School of architecture, and what Hogtown will look like in 50 years.
Mackenzie Keast is co-founder of Toronto company Distl, and a Cabbagetown resident. Raised in rural B.C., Mackenzie studied urban planning and design at Waterloo before falling victim to Hogtown’s cosmopolitan tractor beam. We spoke with Mackenzie about growing up in a brewery, converting to the Church of Toronto, and how developers can actually help poor people. Mackenzie also talked about Alpha Cities, encouraging young planners to think crazy, and his Top 3 public spaces in Toronto. (Oh, and Drake, obviously.)
In the inaugural episode of Hogtown Talks‘ new podcast on sports, we meet Barry’s friend Sam Halpern, a man with a malignant addiction to athletics. Barry and Sam talk about how they met, Nazi-affiliated apartments, and shooting threes on the Danforth. They also talk about every Raptors news story imaginable, Toronto’s 2016 NBA All-Star Game, and the prospect of seeing Andrew Wiggins win Gold at this summer’s Pan Am Games.
In the first episode of Hogtown Talks‘ new podcast on movies, we meet filmmaker Bronson Allen, a Toronto mensch and one of Barry’s best friends. Barry and Bronson talk about bonding over Goodfellas, Scarborough douchebags, and the problem with TIFF. They also talk about Cumberland Cinema (R.I.P.), Toronto’s most cinematic location, and Sarah Polley’s journey into Young Adult filmmaking.
Robin Dann is a singer and songwriter and founder of Toronto band, Bernice. She grew up on the Danforth, attended Barry’s insane alma mater the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and now lives in one of Hogtown’s best neighbourhoods (we said it), Brockton Village. We spoke with Robin about growing up in a musical family, the trials of high school, and finding her musical voice. Robin also talked about her writing process, working with people she loves, and what’s keeping her in Toronto.
Breaking: There won’t be another episode for a couple more weeks. Thanks to the holidays, my proletariat poverty, and some batshit wedding I must attend in Edmonton, in the middle of winter, the podcast has stalled. Rollie Pemberton rolls in his grave, no doubt.
I have guests lined up. Great ones, I promise. But I don’t reveal them until a few days before their episode drops. I’m aware that this is a coit-tease—respect: gender neutrality—but it’s for your own good! Hopefully, my catalog of previous guests shows that I am not full of shit.
Thanks to Twitter and all that other social media, I’ve discovered that people other than my Mom and Bronson listen to the show. And I’m grateful. I respond to every person that reaches out, even the hate mail. I’m not famous enough to shit on these people yet, so until then, I say this: Thanks for the input!
Oh! We have a YouTube channel now. And I’m reaching out to new people and networks to Glengarry Glen Ross this joint. Until you hear me on Howard Stern, please tell someone about the show.
Sam White is a writer living in Brockton Village. As one of Barry’s best friends and lover of podcasts, we could think of no better human to talk about Hogtown in 2014. We spoke with Sam about growing up in Roncesvalles Village, meeting Barry at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, and why Lansdowne’s ugliness makes it good. Sam also argued with Barry about gentrification, the Election, and he unveiled his three favourite Toronto restaurants.
Celebrity therapist Dr. Phil Stutz has a magnificent exercise to calm down anxious people: Shut the fuck up for a second, and think about all of the things that you’re thankful for—not the big things like being alive—the little things like having clean laundry or seeing a traffic light turn Green. And it works. Eventually you reach a place of calm where you’re not the Last Man On Earth and reason prevails.
So, as I enter the most sentimental time of the year, I know that I am thankful for little things. I’m thankful that people who are not my Mom listen to the show; that my guests have been so kind and candid; that I can record this podcast in my apartment and drink beer while doing it.
And I’m thankful to people who made this show possible just because I asked them to. The brilliant artist Shannon Jagerdesigned my site. My friend since we were fucking fourteen years oldChris MacDonald drew our logo. Sam White and Bronson Allen provided moral support and alcoholism.
We’ve got a lot of great episodes coming up. Non-white male guests included. I’m not getting tired of this, so you better stick around, too.
So, Happy Holidays, to you, the people that care! I love you all.
In short, as Seth (please come on the show) has said: “It’s a good life if you don’t weaken.”