Her Life Is An Open Book

Nina Maslej is proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — or its accent. When people ask the Toronto resident where she’s from, she says High Park. That answer is usually met with a look of skepticism, bewilderment or laughter, but the unspoken words are always the same: ‘Yeah, but where are you really from?’ Maslej has lived in … [Read more...]

Feed The People Or Pay For Garbage

After 25 years of serving meals to those in need, St. John the Compassionate Mission’s meal program could be forced to close as a result of a new garbage collection fee the city plans to levy on non-profit organizations. The new policy, adopted by city council on Nov. 29, will result in all non-residential tenants including retirement homes, … [Read more...]

Running To Remember

In 2005, Brato Bhabok crossed the finish line at the Terry Fox Run with tears in his eyes. It’s not that it was the first time he accomplished the feat. In fact, he has run the race every year previously, dating all the way back to the first Terry Fox Run in Toronto in 1981. But this time was different. A year earlier, Bhabok’s wife of 28 … [Read more...]

Performing In Digital Space

After 23 years of making music, sound editor and electronic musician Karl Mohr decided to get serious. That is, as serious as one would expect from someone whose spectrum of musical output ranges from "epic, ballad, goth, electro-type stuff" to "video game music". Mohr stopped recording under his name and now juggles three vastly different … [Read more...]

Finding Peace In The Village

It’s 8:45 on an August night and the sidewalks of Ahmadiyya Avenue are illuminated with the vibrant colours of women and children in shalwar kameez. The unisex South-Asian cultural garb, traditionally worn in Pakistan, comes in an array of colours, though men generally wear white. While many nearby residents are getting their kids ready for bed, … [Read more...]

Casa Loma’s New Keepers At The Gate

Trelawny Howell sits on a lawn chair behind Toronto’s castle on the hill, decked out in a flowing beige dress with immaculately styled hair and makeup. She looks as out of place among the casually attired students and tourists as does the department store patio set against the grand backdrop of the Edwardian-era castle. The chairs, she comments, … [Read more...]

No Bull: Michael Roberts’ Story of Redemption

This story originally appeared in the April, 2011 issue of Downhome. Michael Roberts’ face is a canvas of pain. Almost his entire body is draped in ink, from faces and flames to skulls and swastikas. Individually, he says, his tattoos are meaningless. Collectively, they once offered a mask to his misery — a means of therapy for a life of … [Read more...]

A Woman, A City, And A File Cabinet

On a busy street corner on Queen Street West, a lady in red and her partner prepare to dazzle the crowd with a one-of-a-kind contemporary dance performance. The crowd is used to buskers, but this one stands out. For most dancers, the performance starts when they hit the stage. But for Marlee Cargill, the stage opens when she begins her … [Read more...]

Protesters: Give Bush The Boot

As former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton arrived in Toronto for a public “moderated discussion” today, Front St. served as the dividing line between those in suits and those with boots. … [Read more...]