FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In this podcast we tackle the issue of food waste and food production from two unique perspectives. 

Julia Girmenia works for an organization known as Not Far From The Tree. This creative organization has figured a way to not only salvage huge quantities of fruit that grows in our backyards, but has created a program that shares that fruit with homeowners, volunteers and people in need. 

notfarfromthetree.org

Mike Gallay decided he would create a planter box where he could grow his own fruit and vegetables. Then he started to make more for others who liked what he had created. Well, that little project grew by leaps and bounds. To date, Mike and his cohorts have produced more than 200 boxes to share with others. And what does Mike charge for these gems? Absolutely nothing. 

gallay.com

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

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Julia Girmenia (she,her)

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Mike Gallay

 

FLYING ABOVE THE RADAR

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During a stressful time in her life, Julia Zarankin (Photo Credit:Claire Sibonney)

went searching for a new hobby and decided to give Birding a shot. 

This grew into a real passion that led to her writing a fascinating book about her experience. 

There are more than 350 bird species in Toronto and Julia is on a quest to see them all. 

After listening to her insights you may be compelled to dig out your old binoculars

and become a birder yourself.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Visit Julia's website:

juliazarankin.com

Here is a link to Julia's book:

juliazarankin.com/book/

 

BLAZING NEW TRAILS

For more than 35 years the charitable organization called Trailblazers has been  providing people with visual impairments an opportunity to ride around the city and points beyond on a tandem bike. 

We interview John Tam who is sighted and Geza Fenyo who is blind to talk about their experiences out on the trails. They have a very inspiring story to tell.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Visit Trailblazers at

trailblazerstandem.org

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John Tam

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Geza Fenyo

 

WE'RE STILL STANDING!

The challenges facing an independent bookstore in Toronto are daunting. If book store owner Ben McNally (pictured with son Rupert and daughter Danielle) made a list of the pros and cons of staying in business, the cons would win hands down. But fortunately for Toronto, Ben doesn't make lists; he sells books. Listening to Ben chat about his life in the book world, it is clear that he still opens a box of new books with the anticipation and giddiness of a kid on Christmas morning. After 50 years, he still loves what he does.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Visit Ben's store at

benmcnallybooks.com

Here are the links to Ben's Five Books in Five minutes.

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier | Penguin Random House Canada


Permanent Astonishment by Tomson Highway | Penguin Random House Canada


The Final Case by David Guterson | Penguin Random House Canada

Free by Lea Ypi | Penguin Random House Canada


Sea of Tranquility - Emily St. John Mandel - Hardcover (harpercollins.ca)

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A GUIDING LIGHT

For the past 15 years, nurse practitioner Bertha Hughes has worked in the Cardiovascular and Vascular Surgery Unit at St. Michael's Hospital in downtown Toronto. She has been a beacon of knowledge, compassion and hope for patients and their families who are undergoing traumatic and life-changing surgery. And despite all the challenges of COVID-19 and the overall state of nursing in Canada, she remains optimistic about the future of her profession.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

For more information

stmichaelsfoundation.com

heartandstroke.ca

 

FINDING MAGIC 
IN MAGICAL LANDS

Gordon Precious is many things: a charming raconteur, an intrepid word traveller, an accomplished magician and a talented athlete, whose love of heli-skiing garnered him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. And did we mention he is 97 years old? You are going to want to hear his story.

Photo courtesy of CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Watch Gordon perform a Canary in a Cage magic trick. 

youtube.com/watch?v=kx3f1PYOcJQ&ab_channel=JamesAlan

Here is the link to the Gordon Precious Heli-skiing adventure.

youtube.com/watch?v=YGpLCacHO2A&ab_channel=CMHHeli-SkiingandSummerAdventures

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NEW CIRCLES,
NEW DIRECTIONS

For the past 15 years, New Circles has played a major role in helping new immigrants and people living in poverty in Toronto.  Located on an unassuming industrial street in Scarborough, this organization started out providing gently used clothing to people in need. And while that alone was a noble undertaking, New Circles evolved from providing just clothing to adding classes where clients can learn new skills that lead to employment and career opportunities.  


If there is an overriding philosophy at New Circles it is that people living in poverty deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.  We talk with the executive director of New Circles and hear as well from a client who has benefited from taking their skills courses.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Learn more about the New Circles at 

newcircles.ca

Listen to Founder Cindy Blakely, winner of  the L'Oréal Paris Canada's Women of Worth award. 

youtu.be/fdrWvNaFdeI

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THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE: TAKES A LICKING AND KEEPS ON TICKING

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Is there a more iconic event that happens each year in Toronto than the Santa Claus Parade? In this podcast, the CEO of the parade, Clay Charters, pulls the curtain back and gives us a behind the scene view of how the parade comes about each year. He touches on the historical highlights, including the year they brought in real reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh. He also talks about the challenges the parade has  overcome in the past, including covid 19 and shares his vision for the parade moving forward.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Learn more about the Santa Claus Parade at 

thesantaclausparade.com

 

THE CHILDREN'S BOOK BANK:
THE BANK WITH NO FEES

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Mary Ladky is the executive director of the Children's Book Bank. Strategically located between Cabbagetown and Regent Park, the book store is set up in a converted Victorian style home. It is beautifully laid out and is very child friendly. After admiring the surroundings, you might notice that something is missing. There is no checkout counter.

And that's because all the books are free. 

Mary talks about the history of the book bank and presents a compelling case on the benefits of children learning to read and the consequences for those who do not. We soon learn that Mary is a fierce champion of child literacy.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Visit the book bank at 

childrensbookbank.com

 

THE ANSWER IS BLOWING IN THE WIND

Ryan Church has worn many hats in his young illustrious career. He is an entrepreneur,  designer, biologist and with many patents already in his name, he is an inventor. As an active environmentalist, it seemed only natural that his latest invention has the potential to seriously impact the amount of energy we can produce from Wind Turbines around the world. He is a great Canadian with a fascinating story to tell.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com


Visit Biome Renewables at

www.biome-renewables.com

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THE LITTLE MUSIC SCHOOL THAT GREW

Meet Charleen Beard. Her accordion playing father decided in 1957 to teach music lessons out of his basement. Since that opening, more than 10,000 students have walked through the doors of the Lippert Music Center. 

Charleen, who now presides over the business, gives us her take on the family business and shares her insights into the joy of learning to play a musical instrument.

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com


Visit Lippert Music Centre at

www.lippertmusic.com

 
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TORONTO CRIME TOURS

TWO DETECTIVES WALK THE WALK AND TALK THE TALK

Two retired police officers bring more than 60 years of experience to bear on this intriguing tour of crime scenes in Toronto. It is an educational tour filled with amazing stories, insider analysis and even a healthy dose of humour. These are not your typical retired police detectives. 

Listen to the podcast at 

hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

To learn more about the tour and purchase tickets, please visit 

torontocrimetours.com/

 

THE TYPEWRITER:
ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN TORONTO

Meet Martin Howard, a Torontonian who interacts with typewriters on a daily basis. He collects 19th century typewriters, and also buys, repairs and sells more recent models. His passion for typewriters inadvertently led him to acquire a prominent role in the critically acclaimed documentary, California Typewriter, where he shares the marquee with the likes of Tom Hanks, John Mayer and Sam Shepard.

Listen to the podcast at hiddengemstoronto.buzzsprout.com

Visit Martin's website at antiquetypewriters.com

Learn more about the documentary at californiatypewritermovie.com

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