Category: Featured

The Best of Healthcare. The Worst of Healthcare.

There are two health-care systems in Canada. Not just the public and private ones. But the Toronto system and the…well, let’s call it The Rest of Canada system.

If you happen to live in the Greater Toronto Area, the 6.2 million of you are luckier than the other 31.8 million Canadians who don’t.

Got cancer? Get treated at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the Top 10 oncology centres in the world.

Heart disease? The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, one of the top heart hospitals in the world. 

If you’re a sick child, or their parent, take them to Sick Kids, the best children’s hospital anywhere.

Need physical rehab? There’s the  Toronto Rehabilitation Institute whose research arm is also the best in the world.

There’s No Denial Like Systemic Denial

We now know that systemic racism is largely unconscious because it’s baked into our culture. It took the remains of hundreds of Indigenous and Inuit

Fall Line or Fault Line?

Autumn officially landed three weeks ago on September 22. But September was one of the two bonus months (along with May) we were blessed to

Why no WiFi on the subway?

Toronto regularly makes it onto the lists of the world’s great cities (as in ‘great to live in’). But the world’s safest cities? I doubt that, if by “safe” you mean resilience around the pandemic, in addition to things like personal security, clean air and water, traffic, modern infrastructure, and digital life.

But, as often happens, I am wrong. Last week, the Economist Intelligence Unit released its 2021 Safe Cities Index. It ranked 60 cities across 76 safety indicators. Toronto not only finished in the Top 5, it is Number 2, next only to Copenhagen.

This got me thinking that maybe Torontonians suffer from a kind of reverse NIMBY, i.e. we think we’re dreadful until we compare ourselves to places we envy, only to discover they’re worse. Like Churchill’s definition of democracy as the worst form of government, except for all the others.

Had a Great Fall

Which is as different for Humpty Dumpty as hearing “Have a great Fall” is for you. So now that the leaves are really turning and a chill is officially in the air, best to go down these little rabbit-holes before heading outdoors into the waning light.

Depression: The Good, the Better and the Ugly

I was checking my Instagram feed one night three years ago when I scrolled past this post: “Where has my beautiful love gone? It’s been a mere week and the pain feels like it’s lasted a millennia.”

These were the first words of a friend announcing that her husband had died suddenly. His death shocked me no less than the announcement of it on social media. I was slow in viewing Instagram as the place to reveal great tragedies as well as luscious dinners and stunning sunsets.

Hunters and Hunted

Whistleblowers don’t use whistles anymore. They rarely pass manila envelopes.

Today, revealing secrets is done online, whether that’s ransomware which can make your private medical records public, or bank records sent to investigative journalists, the juiciest of all being from offshore banks whose very purpose is to never be revealed.

Before the Fall

It was a good week for Canadians: we got our two Michaels back and we got a day to remember that we can change history and not let history change us by forgetting how badly Canada’s Indigenous citizens were treated, and still are.

Terror Times Two

I was in New York on September 10, 2001 to meet travel editors. I wrote a lot. I travelled a lot. So, I thought, why don’t I do both at the same time?

A friend got me an interview with the managing editor of Condé Nast Traveler, which was like talking with God. He casually said: “A place is not an idea.” His point was travel writing shouldn’t be an endless “we went here and then we went there, and this place was lovely and that wasn’t.”


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