On the Map: The Once-Sleepy Danforth Neighbourhood Finds its Place in the 6ix

“There are so many studies that say that once you get a Starbucks in a neighbourhood, you’re A Neighbourhood—with a capital A,” says long-time Danforth resident Jack Howard as we discuss the transformation of the once-sleepy locality into a vibrant and culturally diverse pocket of Toronto. Howard and his wife chose the Danforth area for…Read more »

Stories of the Monarch Tavern

Pete worked the downstairs tavern for at least 20 years, building a loyal clientele of masculine weekday drinkers who would spill onto the quiet residential street late each afternoon, more animated than when they entered. And the bar sold the most beer in Toronto: the delivery truck would pull up outside the front entrance and roll kegs directly into the basement. Seventy thousand pints poured through the taps on any given month. The place pumped and the Jewish owner, Paul Sitzer, filled his pockets with the cash. Stockbrokers deliberated, entrepreneurs invented and lawyers argued over a lunchtime pint, accompanied by a steak and veal sandwich from San Francesco. And Pete the bartender delivered drink after drink, year after year to the rowdy all-male downstairs crowd.

The Greeting

“Welcome to Paris, where the local time is 9am and the current temperature is minus three degrees Celsius. On behalf of Air France, I would like to thank you for travelling with us from Sydney today. We hope to see you onboard in the near future.”   I stroke Aidan’s soft curls. He stirs. “Aidan,…Read more »

The Date

I descend to the ground floor of the North Sydney office building. My job interview was successful. I start next month. I will move to Sydney. I will find a new apartment. Morgan, my five-year-old son, will start a new school. “I may even have a new man,” I smile to myself. I exit the…Read more »

The Contract

“Alright, show them to me, then,” announces Janet, the Ballet Mistress of the Moulin Rouge. Joanna, Christina, and I stand in the dimly lit backstage office of the famous cabaret and face the ballet mistress like prized cattle at an exhibition. It is early spring of 1999. I arrived in Paris only days before. Six…Read more »

The Transformer

It is Saturday morning mid-January in Sydney. The sun pours into my stuffy second-floor two-bedroom apartment. Every window is open, but the heat soars into the high twenties already. “It is going to be another stinker,” calls Charlie, my boyfriend, from the steamy bathroom. Charlie and I live on the north side of the Harbour…Read more »