Keith McManamen is a strategic analyst with Psiphon, a Hogtown-based company that circumvents Internet censorship around the world. Keith is also a member of the growing University of Waterloo alumni to have graced this show with their time. We spoke with Keith about fucking with repressive governments, violating sovereignty, and the Internet as a moral entity. We also talked about how the United States is spying on us, how the media has become Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, and the Privacy V. Convenience dilemma.
Live from 12 Ossington in downtown Toronto, Hogtown Talks presents its first live debate. The subject of discussion: Is Toronto a playground for the rich? Barry moderates a formidable planel including Andray Domise, Shawn Micallef, Mackenzie Keast, and Jacquelyn West. Unwieldy topic be damned, the panel talked about the poisonous effects of gentrification, how the City has abandoned the suburbs, and Toronto’s ongoing problems with racism. They also touched on the impossiblity of owning land, culture’s ostensibly invisible impact on the poor, and what we can do to fix this place we call home—with or without City Council.
Travis Myers is a writer, panelist, and LGBT activist whose work has appeared in several Hogtown institutions. Travis is also hilarious and enjoys wine, which makes him a perfect guest for this show. We spoke with Travis about growing up religious and gay, fetishizing the act of argument, and the Village’s past and uncertain future. Travis also talked about why we don’t see more penises in movies, John V. Olivia, and learning to love Toronto—begrudgingly.
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.)
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.
Mark Kingwell is a philosopher at the University of Toronto. His work in political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and criticism has made him one of Canada’s most renowned public intellectuals. And he’s the reason Barry became a philosophy major. (We’ll see how that turns out.) We spoke with Mark about his childhood obsession with Trudeau-era nationalism, living in Kensington Market as an undergrad, and the intersection of philosophy and pop culture. Mark also spoke about the tension of working within elitist institutions, civility’s relationship with political violence, and how it’s kind of hard to beat what we got going on in Hogtown.
Desmond Cole is project coordinator at City Vote and a staff writer for Torontoist. Most notably, Desmond covered the Ferguson protests following a grand jury’s choice not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of black youth Michael Brown. We spoke with Desmond about the resolve of Ferguson’s protestors, whether it’s possible to be an objective reporter in the face of tragedy, and how many people can’t seem to admit that they’re scared of black people. Desmond also talked about how blogging led to his career in journalism, Toronto’s denial of its own systemic racism, and still, why Hogtown is an amazing place.
John Lorinc is a lifelong Torontonian and current midtowner. John’s words have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and The Walrus, and he’s a senior editor at Spacing. John spoke with us about his Hungarian Jewish roots, how he became a Hogtown expert by accident, and what it was like to
suffer cover four years of the Fords. He also talked about being independent in a Left and Right world, whether some version of John Tory will rule Toronto for eternity, and why, despite all of our faults, he still loves Toronto.