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Memoir

July-August 2021

The gentrification of Scarberia

This is Scarborough and it isn't yours to own

Renee Ashley

“You’re from Scarborough!?” Scarborough rolled off his tongue like a bitter taste he was trying to get rid of, almost as soon as the word left his mouth. This is one of my first memories of someone’s reaction to where I lived. It sounded heavy with the weight of negative stereotypes. I didn’t know I […] More »
July-August 2021

Gigging toward my golden years

What happens when you’re hitting retirement age and you don’t have funds in place?

Mary Fairhurst Breen

  My first grown-up job paid $33 an hour, in 1987. It didn’t truly pay $33 an hour, because it was a teaching job, and the rate didn’t include lesson planning. It was also very part-time. But fresh out of university, I thought this was astonishingly generous compensation. I got the job through the (former) […] More »
July-AugustJuly-August 2021

To newcomers to Canada, from someone who’s been there

Breaking down the myth of multiculturalism

Oyindamola Esho

Dear new Canadian immigrants, The multicultural Canada you imagined does not exist. There, I said it. When I came to this country in 2006 at the age of nine, I, like you, had hoped for a better life than what a mismanaged Nigerian government promised. Canada seemed to have a steady flow of electricity, free […] More »
July-August 2021

True crime as a love language

A mother and son bond over sensational stories

JP Larocque

The other night, my mother sent my partner Jason a text message. It was an innocuous check-in—warm greetings, a few updates on quarantine life, and a request for some items from our next grocery run. But sandwiched between the mundane details of life and the odd joke was an itemized list of true crime documentaries. […] More »
May-June 2021

When suburbia is the only home you know

My changing relationship to Markham, Ontario

Flora Pan

The excavators were a sore sight. Each machine with its little claw dug into the earth, ripping out the vegetation that grew in place of the usual rows of corn. Just like that, another piece of farmland in Markham, Ontario would be turned to houses. “I’ve had this for eight years,” I tell my boyfriend, […] More »
March-April 2021

In pursuit of Muslim representation

My dream of becoming Hollywood’s first hijabi talk-show host

Aishah Ashraf

Growing up in a traditional first-generation Muslim-Canadian family, I constantly struggled to determine what career I wanted to pursue. For years, I faced the dilemma of whether to satisfy the vision my parents had created for me or to go out on a limb and pursue my own interests of joining the entertainment industry, ultimately […] More »
March-April 2021

You keep calling me strong

Who does that really serve?

Kristy Frenken-Francis

To the people who have called me resilient: I know you think that you were giving me some big compliment. I get it, I do. The first time someone called me resilient, I was young and terrified that no one would ever see how hard I was fighting. Then, the phrase “you are resilient” filled […] More »
March-April 2021

Sober is a verb

Two years after I stopped drinking, sobriety is an act of resilience

Niko Stratis

One of the big changes in my life as I’ve gotten older has been becoming an insomniac. My brain has decided to forgo the signals that I am asleep and should remain so until an appropriate hour sometime in the waning hours of the dawn, and instead wakes me up around 1 a.m. This time […] More »
January-February 2021

Good riddance, Canada Fitness Test

You are not missed

Julia Zarankin

Dear (thankfully defunct) Canada Fitness Test, It’s been exactly 30 years since since you last subjected me to evaluation, but your quartet of badges still populates my worst nightmares. In the name of promoting healthier attitudes toward personal fitness, you terrorized an entire generation from 1970 to 1992. Your arrival every May coincided with nothing […] More »
January-February 2021

Love alone could not protect us

On connecting, reconnecting, and reflecting

Brittany Penner

“When are they taking me away?” This was a question I frequently asked my mom throughout my childhood. The first time I wondered this aloud I was three years old. My foster brother and sister had lived with us on and off for two years by then and I didn’t remember life without them. The […] More »
January-February 2021

I can’t say her name

On Black mental health during the pandemic

Venus Noirre

Breonna Taylor. I’m tired of hearing her name, I’m tired of seeing her face everywhere. It seems like 2020 has been the year for everything and everyone to break down. The complete isolation that so many of us have been forced into has destroyed any semblance of the old selves that were left. With numerous […] More »