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.
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.
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.
Morgan Baskin is a Corktown resident who ran for mayor of Toronto when she was 18 years old. Morgan’s 19 now, and though she didn’t win the election, she’s still committed to making Hogtown a better place. Morgan spoke with us about protesting Mike Harris as a toddler, overnight fame, and how being a public servant is anything but private. She also talked about how she hates issue-based campaigns, debating Doug and Olivia, and what she plans on doing now that the circus has left town.
Stephen Marche is a columnist at Esquire, novelist, and doctor of Early Modern Drama. He’s written about sex, hockey, and Megan Fox, among many things. Stephen spoke with us about his lifelong obsession with the novel, being labelled a misogynist and idiot, and why writing is not for whiners. He also talked about how Americans could give two shits about the CBC, why writing fiction takes courage, and Toronto’s future. (It won’t be boring.)