2013 has brought many more assignments that 2012. Here’s a list of what I think are the most outstanding ones I did this year.
Future Shopping – I kicked off the year by publishing a story on The Grid about what four different psychics thought 2013 would hold for me. This was a lot of fun as it gave me an excuse to visit psychics, something I had always been curious about but had never done before.
The Gladstone Hotel Presents Come Up To My Room 2013– I love reporting on events, and this story taught me that I also like writing about art. The yearly event at The Gladstone Hotel features crazy art installations, and being with the media gets me in the door for free before the public sees it. I also got a free beer. Not bad!
10 Toronto Streets That Need Bike Lanes – I wrote a lot of stories about cycling for The Grid, but this was the most ambitious. I interviewed seven sources for this including Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmat. My highest profile interview yet. A lot of work hours went into this one.
The Model Railroad Club Shuts Down – In Toronto’s Liberty Village there was a model railroad club with an incredibly elaborate railroad that had been built over the years since WW2. Photographer Corbin Smith did an awesome job with the photos and even took a video with a camera mounted on one of the trains. This was a lot of fun. It’s too bad they were tearing it down to move to a new location thanks to rising rent prices. It’ll another year until they have it set up again.
Thumble Presents a New Look at Photo Sharing – This story broke me into The Financial Post. Since then I have written many more for them. This photosharing app proposed to reward users who allowed advertisers to use their pictures.
A First Look At Legoland – I attended a media preview of the new Legoland at Vaughan Mills Mall. This was easily one of the most fun stories I’ve ever done, and photographer Christopher Drost did an amazing job with the pics. This story nearly blew up Torontoist’s servers with thousands of shares.
Hogtown Mascots – This one earned me a featured contributor profile in The Grid. I profiled Hogtown Mascots, a mascot building company up the street from my old place in Toronto.
Transit Tales – Most people who ride the TTC have at least one story about seeing something crazy, weird, or shocking happen while in transit. I set out to collect some truly outrageous tales for The Grid and had a lot of fun with it. To get the stories, the best way was to go direct and ask around. They were a lot easier to find than you might think.
High Park’s Controlled Burn – At High Park they performed a controlled burn of certain areas in order to help the regrowth of black oak. Lots of fun attending this and writing the article. Once again, Christopher Drost killed it with the photos.
Bottle Plant Recycling Tour – Another really awesome opportunity with Torontoist. I got to see what happens to glass bottles after you return them to the Beer Store. The tour took us to three different locations over the day, plus I had to do the write up when I got home. A lot of work, but lots of fun. With Drost doing the photos this was a home run.
New Dinosaur At The ROM – I’ve always loved dinosaurs, so when the opportunity to report on a new dino fossil at the ROM I was all over it. Getting free entry and access to the offices and labs where you normally never get to see was also pretty cool.
Immigrant Entrepreneurship – This story made the front page of The Financial Post. I was floored.
Save The Humber River – This one got my name in NOW Toronto for the first time. It also allowed me to finally write about the environment, and take on a more politically charged topic. The copy was significantly edited, but still, it was a milestone.
Zach Branson, Medical Marijuana User – This assignment was offered to me, and it got me on board with writing about medical marijuana. This is a topic I can easily get behind. It also got me into writing profiles on people, and I have since done several more on medical marijuana users.
Homecare for Seniors – This one got me into The Globe and Mail. Being able to put that on my clients and publications list is a very shiny feather in my cap.
How To Grow A Beard – For DailyXY I’ve done many posts, but this is the only one that stands out. I had a lot of fun writing it, and reading it gives me a little chuckle at several points. If you want to grow a beard you should consider reading it.