Category Archives: Toronto

DevTO #68: Some people play in beer hockey leagues. I podcast.

Recently, I was invited to speak at Toronto’s popular DevTO meetup. Here is what I shared on that special evening:

Stories from inside Girth Radio. I delve into some of the do’s and dont’s on how to be successful on the Podcast circuit!

“After being one of Toronto’s pioneers in podcasting in 2010 with SMS (aka Social Media show), Karim Kanji is back with his newest show. Welcome! features conversations with innovators, thought leaders, politicians, media personalities, entrepreneurs, and some of the most interesting people from around the world.”

Welcome! is part of the Girth Radio line-up and taped live inside the Pacific Junction Hotel.

Toronto’s only cemetery in shopping mall parking lot

Yes, it’s true. And it’s in Scarborough inside the parking lot of Bridlewood Mall.

I was reminded of these recentphotos I took after I read this weekend’s Toronto Star article on Toronto’s disappearing malls. Bridlewood (the mall of my childhood from Grade 6 until I got married) and Parkway Mall (my current neighbourhood mall) both seem to be thriving/surviving.

The cemetery outside Bridlewood Mall in the parking lot is unique. Captain Obvious.

Escape Station

You’ve by now heard about the phenomenon known as Escape Rooms. Well, I finally went to my first escape room experience in Toronto on Friday night. And it was amazing!

Escape Station is located 2252 Queen Street East near Victoria Park in the Beaches area of Toronto. It features four distinct rooms each with a different level of difficulty. Knowing that there  was going to be 5 people much smarter than me I thought I’d go ahead and book the toughest room. A level five room with a success rate of a measly 3%!

The goal was to stop an alien attack on Toronto by shutting down the power source of the alien space ship.

How did we do? We were probably 10-15 away from accomplishing the mission.

Who am I kidding?! Without the 4 timely clues given to us we probably would not have accomplished even half of the tasks. But a fun time was had by all of us.

Check out Escape Station!

Parks, parks, parks

Today is good news for fans of parks in Canada. More specifically this good news is brought to you by two amazing people I personally know.

parkrun Canada

While living in Basingstoke, England, my brother, Aneez would rave about this community initiative that was all the rage called parkrun. He described it as a weekly 5km fun run that takes place in local parks. It’s not a race but more of a community gathering centered around running.

After weeks (probably months) of work Aneez announced that parkrun was now coming to Whitby (where Aneez now lives).

parkrun whitby

Park People

Today the little independent Toronto-based charity that my wife, Minaz, works for officially goes national. In Calgary, Park People is currently hosting the Heart Of The City Conference (Shaping The Future Of City Parks In Canada). I describe Park People as an organization that works with local neighbourhoods and helps the people there to animate and use their parks in an inclusive way.

Why are these two events important? Well, to me it’s obvious. Parks are public spaces. Like libraries and community centres. They are places for friends and family to gather and enjoy. For parents and kids to enjoy a summer afternoon in. For kids to hangout and play tag in. For picnics and parties. For independent arts and bazaar sales. For Scout meetings and community-built outdoor ice rinks. For running and parkour. Parks are the places where we can find the heartbeat of a community and neighbourhood. They are worth building, cleaning, animating, using and growing. Neighbourhoods without parks are not neighbourhoods.

Congrats to Minaz, Aneez, parkrun Canada and Park People!

Episode #67: Richard Peddie

Former President and CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and current Toronto Foundation Vice Chair, Richard Peddie returns to the studio. This time Peddie and Karim talk about how to make Toronto a more liveable and caring city.

richard peddie and karim kanji
Thanks to Gregg Tilston for this photo! Taken from outside Girth Radio studios inside Pacific Junction Hotel.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

Listen below:

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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Kub Kar Rally – 2017

This weekend saw the beginning of the 2017 Canadian International Auto Show. However, on February 4th, a different and more hands on version of the CIAS took place in Scarborough. It was the annual Kub Kar Rally.

kub kar rally | hot wheels

This annual event sees kids battle each other on who has the fastest Kub Kar. Awards for best design are also given out. All in the hope of advancing to the Scarborough and then Toronto finals.

kub kar rally | hot wheels

Here are some of our participants:

Jerry Seinfeld at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Last night Jerry Seinfeld made his “millionth” stop in Toronto on his seemingly endless tour. As many of you know, Seinfeld has refused to stop touring even after the uber success of his TV show in the 90’s. He obviously doesn’t need the money. But like he said at the beginning of his act he had “nothing to do” when he got the call to come up to Toronto. He even pronounces the city like a long time resident, dropping the final “t” in Toronto.

sony centre for the performing arts

I’ve had the privilege of seeing dozens of shows in comedy clubs. However, this was my first time seeing a polished act in such a huge venue. Two observations: First, big arena style shows are very polished. It’s harder for the act to banter with the crowd. And Seinfeld, in his early sixties now, doesn’t need to do so to put on a show. And the raw feeling I get in a club is so different, but still satisfying.

Second, unless you’re sitting in the first few rows, the intimacy I enjoy in clubs with the acts is gone. We were sitting in the balcony where it was impossible to see the various facial features that I have come to enjoy in comedy clubs. Even his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” seemed more intimate.

jerry seinfeld | karim kanji

If you haven’t seen one of the legends of comedy make sure you take the time (and money) to do so. You will not be disappointed.

sony centre for the performing arts