From Federal Publications Inc. ~ Glenn Cochrane's Toronto: Tales of the City is the ideal pocket companion for anyone looking for the underground city not only as it is, but as it was.
For a quarter century, Glenn Cochrane reported for CFTO's daily Worldbeat and Nightbeat news. He left viewers with a smile by scouring the city for the genuine eccentrics and landmark fests that put Hogtown on the map. Now Cochrane comes out of retirement to walk the old beat, unearthing the local lore and historic hijinks that make Toronto come to life. Peter Ustinov once said "Toronto is New York run by the Swiss," but Cochrane shows you a city with chutzpah and flair uniquely its own.
His roaming recollections include anecdotal "streeters" with the famous: Eartha Kitt, Sammy Davis Jr., Rich Little, George Burns, Phyllis Diller, Mickey Rooney, Carol Channing and Paul Hogan — and with the moms and pops of all the best shops. When Mike Myers accepted his place on Canada's Walk of Fame, he gave a nod to the retired newscaster by sporting "a Cochrane" signature mop top and impersonating Glenn’s comedic catch phrase.
From Dave Garrick's free dry cleaning policy for rainy Canadian National Exhibitions to an orangutan receiving CPR at the Toronto Zoo, and from neighbourhood thug Baldy Chard's grip on Cabbagetown to Sammy Taft's "milliner to the stars" on Spadina, Glenn Cochrane's Toronto: Tales of the City walks the old beat, telling tales and unearthing a history you won't find in tourist guides or municipal archives.
Gord read this book during the week and then passed it along to me as he knows I like to read about Toronto's history.
This book doesn't get into a lot of details ... but it gives you a taste of Toronto and its neighbourhoods.
I found Cochrane's writing rambling, which I found a bit annoying. Plus I found it kind of boring.