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January-February 2017

Meet the Toronto artist transforming one of the city’s unlikeliest neighbourhoods

Caroline Akwe performs at Yonge and Eglinton amid construction and bustling businesspeople

Nicole Abi-Najem@NajemNorth

Photo by Dean Bradley Like much of Toronto, the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood has undergone great change. As condos crop up on nearly every street corner and new transit lines are built to expand the city, the midtown area, frequented most by businesspeople and commuters, has seen vast growth. Nothing is stagnant, and the streets […] More »
September-October 2016

Hip-hop is colonizing Canada

Repeat after me: It’s all about bud, basketball, and hip-hop

Dalton Higgins@daltonhiggins5

For our special 50th anniversary issue, Canada’s brightest, boldest, and most rebellious thinkers, doers, and creators share their best big ideas. Through ideas macro and micro, radical and everyday, we present 50 essays, think pieces, and calls to action. Picture: plans for sustainable food systems, radical legislation, revolutionary health care, a greener planet, Indigenous self-government, […] More »
May-June 2016

Small is good

Big media is one hot mess. But it’s not all bad news. How community radio is set to triumph in the digital age and emerge as the surprising winner in the battle for the future of media

Doug Horner

THE CHEERY BANTER between a cartoon moose and flying squirrel has rung out over Calgary airwaves every Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the past 14 years. Dedicated listeners know what the goofy bit signals: it’s time for radio magic. “And now…” “Hey, Rocky!” Bullwinkle interrupts. “Watch me pull a rabbit out of this hat.” […] More »

The power of hip-hop

How music brings social change

Dina Lobo

“Having a message should be cool,” says Toronto hip-hop artist Rich Kidd on the power of rap. Kidd hosted First Out Here: Indigenous hip-hop, a documentary by Noisey, in which Kidd visited Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto to meet with Indigenous hip-hop artists. Kidd, born to Ghanian parents, says he drew a lot of parallels between […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Mohammad Ali Aumeer

The hip hop artist who energizes crowds with songs about human rights and social justice

Hillary Di MennaWebsite@HillaryDiMenna

IT’S MARCH 2015 and the Toronto crowd is rallying to protest Bill C-51. There’s excitement in the air. With every new body comes a greater sense of solidarity. Speakers file on and off stage. The crowd is committed, but human: there comes a point when attention wanes and distraction takes over. The energy starts to […] More »

Gender Block: rape is still rape even when you like the accused

Why we need to stop victim-blaming and letting celebrities off the hook when they're accused of sexual assault and rape

Hillary Di Menna

Earlier this month LA-based 90s treasure L7 played the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Named for one of the band’s more famous songs, a “Shit List” was made and displayed in the venue’s women’s bathroom. On this list were names of men who have assaulted women. The list came with extra paper and pens for people to add more […] More »
March-April 2015

Go your own way

Hillary Di Menna

Lowell’s bold, new vision for a women- and girl-friendly pop future POP SINGER-SONGWRITER Lowell has recently been experiencing a recurring dream in which she’s robbing a bank, then driving away on a motorbike with her lesbian lover. Given the surreal imagery in the videos for her songs “The Bells” and “Cloud 69,” it’s easy to […] More »
January-February 2015

Music makers

Mason Wright

With this his final column in the print edition of This, MASON WRIGHT begins a regular series profiling independent Canadian record labels for this.org. Here is his first, from our Jan/Feb 2015 issue. CANADA IS HOME TO DOZENS of small and independent record labels that nurture the development of emerging artists in every part of […] More »

Art, music, magic

Sean Flinn

Inside The Weakerthans’ bassist Greg Smith’s studio Beer in hand, Greg Smith sits in a chair wedged into a corner. A microphone stand, angled overhead, partially frames him. The room is full of instruments: four- and six-stringed guitars on stands, a mandolin hanging from a hook, a drum kit and keyboards facing one another. But […] More »
July-August 2014

Pop culture: Every day I’m hustlin’

Alexandra Molotkow@alexmolotkow

Thoughts on the creative value of taking a break “MY LIFE IN MONTREAL WAS SO GOOD,” said the songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage in a recent interview for Bad Day magazine. “We did so many projects. We made tons of albums and we were making movies and just doing tons of shit all the time.” Savage […] More »
January-February 2014

Radio star

Mason Wright@thismason

New FM airwaves lack distinct Canadian sound—and that’s a good thing By the time you read this, the newest entry into Toronto’s FM radio marketplace will be running at full power, armed with a signal boost obtained in November, two months after its launch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the owners of Indie88 […] More »