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.
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.
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.
Yes, the podcast exists. Yes, the podcast is coming. And what better proof of those facts than the arrival of a trailer?
Below is a terrific video directed by Hogtown friend Bronson Allen. It’s supposed to make you excited and happy. Please enjoy.
And Rob Ford: Thanks for the memories.
Hello Hogtonians. Nice to see ya.
I started Hogtown Talks, because  I like talking to cool people about cool shit,  I love listening to interviews, and, as I see it,  there are no good, uncensored, Toronto-centric podcasts. I’m filling a hole, people.
If you love Toronto and have the attention span for long form, I think you’ll like this podcast. I know this, because I am tragically obsessed with this city, and being able to chat with and learn from my amazing guests this past year has been unreal.
On deck: Chef Anthony Rose, ROM mammalogist Burton Lim, TCHC executive Sheila Penny, art historian Sara Angel, City of Toronto health inspector Owen Chong, writer and poet Michael Lista, and film critic Thom Ernst. Many more will be announced in the coming weeks.
I’m a lucky shmuck to have spoken with these people, and I thank them so much for their time and candour.
Other people worthy of praise: Shannon Jager for designing this site and making my inept ass look professional; Chris MacDonald for illustrating our perfect pig logo; Bronson Allen for directing a special soon-to-be-released video; Sam White for being my muscle; my little brother for letting me steal his mic; my parents for not putting me up for adoption.
Creating Hogtown Talks has been, as Woody would say, a “sincere sensation.” If one person outside of my friends, family, and GoDaddy enjoy this podcast, I’ll be thrilled.