This is it people! My last posting for 2016! What a year it has been. I think it’s been a pretty crazy and intense year. I always hope going into the new year that the world will chill out, get together and sing John Lennon songs and somehow really mean it. But then January second happens and the news starts rolling in. Well thank earth, air, fire, and water that’s not what I’m focussing on today. Today it’s all about those people that have made a difference in the world in 2016. More precisely those Canadians that have made a difference this year. And even more precisely than that, the top Torontonians…. No I’m not going to narrow it down that far but I can say a Torontonian or two may have made it into my top 5 this year.
However, before I get into that I thought I would take a moment to reflect on my city and B.I.T.C for a moment! I know, you love when I B.I.T.C! Okay, so what is with all this bloody construction? It’s over the top. Every single morning it’s like travelling through the worst disaster in modern day city, modifying efforts in the history of Canadian society. Almost every main artery in this god forsaken cesspool has some hot and bearded construction worker tearing us a new one. The bus stops are impossible and constantly moving and the traffic demands are turning Toronto into one constant highway. I used to be able to travel to my day job in just under an hour. I could travel to Peterborough in the time it takes me to get to the other side of town and I’m not even going to the other side of town. And those TTC drivers! Their dirty looks, their impatience, their reluctant behaviour when customers are asking for help! Makes my skin crawl!
Speaking of TTC travel, students put your freaking school bags to your side! If I get smacked on the head by one more of your designer book bags I am going to flip and let’s be honest, those bags full of books just sit by your bed. You’re not doing anything with them when you get them home. Stop kidding us. Leave them at school! You’re trying to look good for your teachers and parents and I get that, but you’re not fooling anyone. We can tell by your crap marks. Canadians are losing in the learning poles just admit it.
My biggest nightmare of 2016? Our cab driver from Beck taxi falling asleep at the wheel, almost killing us and then trying to get us to pay for the cab. I swear I’m suffering from some PTSD thanks to that idiot. The worst thing is I really don’t feel the managers of the company made a big enough effort to address the issue. They tried calling me a couple of times and I tried calling them and then nothing. I’m done with Beck. 2017 is all about Uber. Plus, I’m tired of those stinky ass cabs. The people don’t even bathe. I’m sorry I don’t care who you are, bathe before you go to work. I don’t want to smell your underarms in the back seat, I could just throw up.
What is with my hip? Seriously getting old sucks. We all act like it doesn’t but it really does. I am not even half as cute as I was a decade ago and my freaking hip is killing me. Years of retail work and all those feet unfriendly floors. I seriously need to get my butt stretched out! I went to a few massage therapists this year and out of all of the people I saw only one was really any good. I need to go see him again. He really knew how to stretch my butt out effectively. Those muscles get so tight from standing 8 to 10 hours a day. I can hardly tie up my own shoes and I’m only like 40 ish.
Alas, the Christmas season is upon us and it’s time to think of brighter things. Like how about those damn cell phones on buses that reflect the sun right into my eyes giving me the perfect migraine before work. It’s like people are oblivious that their device becomes a laser when they face it into the sun. Argh!
Oh God I feel so much better. I really do. It’s so important to vent. It’s so healthy. I must be one of the healthiest people in the city because well I’m not afraid to tell it like it is. But I like to think I do it with finesse. I do try to think of the other person’s feelings and remember that they matter. That’s funny.
Okay, so thanks to everyone who reads my blog, I totally love you all so much. I love hearing from you on my social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr… no I’m kidding but seriously your comments and lies throughout the year….. LOL. Did I just type “Lies”? That is so hilarious! Not lies. “Likes”, I meant “Likes”, so funny. My readers would never lie to me. That’s my job. No, no, I’m kidding. Of course all my bitching about everything pales in comparison to real world issues and I hope you can enjoy the tongue in cheek in which it is written. Someone somewhere has it far worse and I’m no fool in understanding that. My heart is bigger than my mouth that’s for sure, and I worry a lot about how we are doing globally. I hope our leaders get their acts together. It’s a strange time in the world. Sometimes I just feel like crawling under a rock and staying there. Then I have a great glass of wine and inspiring Canadians like this come to mind!!
Bruce in the City’s top 5 Canadians of 2016!
#5 Eric McCormack
It’s hard to believe Will and Grace has been off the air and in syndication for over 10 years now. It blows my mind. The iconic character of Will Truman was ground breaking for the time. Some may argue that but I think it set a precedence for Gay culture and for T.V prime time. Even though this amazing show has left the building Eric has been working on many projects and one in particular got my attention, the Gilda Radnor foundation. A few years back I believe I wrote about the charity fundraiser I attended for this great Canadian comedian and icon. It was a wonderful event for a great cause. Eric McCormack has now embarked on a successful and edgier new role on Prime Time called Travelers. It’s a very different part for McCormack but he is a natural in the role. Time travel? Eric McCormack? Count me in. 2016 brought back an impromptu Will & Grace reunion during the U.S election season. It’s incredible the following the show still has and here’s to Eric as he embarks on this fascinating new project. I’m no time traveller but I do see great things in this actors future! Did I mention he is a Toronto native?
#4 Eli Glasner
I’m a huge fan of this film critic and arts reporter. He currently works for the CBC. He can be seen every Friday on CBC News Network and heard on local CBC radio programs from St. John’s to Vancouver, as well as on line at CBC news. He also contributes a weekly video review to a variety of CBC weekend programs such as Our Toronto and creates the Glasner On Film podcast. Eli appears regularly on CBC’s The National and can be found interviewing stars and covering cultural events from TIFF to the Oscars. It’s simple, he is on point almost every time. He gets it and shares it. I’m not intentionally picking great Torontonians but we do have some wicked talent in this great city of ours. I think I’m secretly jealous of Eli because this is my dream job.
#3 Dan Levy
Okay, so this guy is fabulous! His current role on the hit show Schitts Creek is just wonderful. Dan is an actor, writer, producer, TV personality and the son of a little super star comedian and actor by the name of Eugene Levy. You may have heard of him! Levy was born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1983, (again a Toronto native not chosen on purpose because of Geography) and his mom is Deborah Divine. He has a sister named Sarah. Fabulous! He has such a great way of delivering those lines and I swear they all just want to crack up when he spews them out. His talent and comedy timing is razor sharp and his big heart is note worthy. Definitely looking forward to the 3rd season in 2017! It’s difficult not to mention all the talented actors on the show O’Hara, Levy Sr., Hampshire, Elliot, Robertson, Milligan all so fantastic in their respected roles.
#2 Arwen Humphreys
It would be just wrong to not have this talented actor on my list this year. I have been enjoying her character “Margaret Brackenreid” on the hit CBC show Murdoch Mysteries for several years now and she always brings great wit and poise to her character. When I went to the premier this year and the 100th episode it was amazing that when Arwen’s character came onto the screen the audience cheered and applauded. I was able to meet her briefly and from that moment she has been a lovely Twitter pal and it’s a lot of fun. I was so excited when she agreed to do an interview for my blog this year and I couldn’t be more thankful. She got me a lot of new followers and that’s very awesome! More than all that however, it was her 22 push ups for 22 days that impressed me this year. I put my name forward and was called upon to get down on my hands and push up for a cause. Even still the Wounded Warriors campaign still enlists willing people to bring awareness to this very important cause. Just this week on Twitter, Mark Walberg’s son was doing 22 push ups for Wounded Warriors! Thanks Arwen for getting me involved and thanks again for the great interview. You’re still not on the show enough in my opinion and that ticks all us fans off! Just sayin! Check it out!
#1 Gord Downie
His tour captivated Canada and the world stage! His music has imprinted itself on the Canadian landscape like the maple leaf and his descent into the Hall of Fame of the Canadian conscience will inspire for decades. It’s impossible to describe an artist like Gord Downie. In most of our lives he has always been in it, playing the soundtrack of our Canadian lives. There are only a handful of artists that have changed the face of consciousness like Mr. Downie has. Look at his latest work just as an example of what makes him ever relevant. There is an excellent write up in a local free paper by Jim Cuddy the front man for Blue Rodeo and I think he summed it up best, “I think he’s helped to change the language of poetry and music in this country if not beyond these borders” (North Toronto Post). His voice in Aboriginal issues continues to change the conversation in this country and that in itself is a legacy worth preserving! Our prayers remain with you always. Gord Downie is a true Canadian treasure!
Well Brucesters, that’s it for me for another year! It’s been a good one! Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone and I’ll see you all in 2017 God willing!
Editor Mary Ellen Monk