Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 329: Matt Elliott

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 329In this 329th episode, Mike chats with Matt Elliott about yesterday's Yonge Street tragedy, his coverage of the Rob Ford years, his work with Metro and what's next for him. This episode is exactly 1:41:18.

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Matt Elliott and me

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Today's Deadly Van Incident On Yonge Street

Today, shortly before 1:30pm, a man driving a white rental van struck a number of pedestrians between Finch and Sheppard on Yonge Street. Toronto Police have confirmed 9 people are dead and 16 are injured, 5 critically. The driver is in police custody.

If you're looking for speculation and hot takes regarding this horrific tragedy, this isn't the place for you. I will report the facts as they're discovered, corroborated and revealed.

If you can donate blood, I urge you to do so as often as possible. It took me far too long to realize this, and now my biggest challenge is waiting long enough before donating. Start today - make an appointment at a clinic near you at

Update: According to NBC News, the driver's name is Alek Minassian and he is 25 years old.

Multiple U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation told NBC News that mental illness was the leading theory based on the preliminary investigation into the incident.

Update 2: CBC reports he lionized Elliot Rodger and referred to himself as an “incel,” or an “involuntarily celibate” person who was seeking revenge on society.

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From Etta to Avicii to Flo Rida

When Avicii passed away on Friday, I did what I often do when a musician dies. I dove into his catalogue of work.

He's got a song called "LE7ELS" that I quite like. It came out in late 2011. Here's that jam.

At the time, my oldest daughter was really into Top 40 music, so I would hear Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" often. Does this sound familiar?

I like that song, too... and upon further reflection, it seems the jam I really dig is Etta James's 1962 single "Something's Got a Hold on Me". Without Etta, I have little interest in "LE7ELS" or "Good Feeling".

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Verne Troyer, Dead at 49

Verne TroyerVerne Troyer was 49. He was the actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series of comedy films, and for his brief appearance as Griphook the goblin in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.


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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 328: Acid Test

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 328In this 328th episode, Mike chats with Acid Test vocalist Lucy Di Santo and guitarist Steve Fall about their sonic rise in 1992, lengthy hiatus and triumphant return to take care of unfinished business. This episode is exactly 1:22:28.

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Acid Test and me

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Avicii, Dead at 28

AviciiAvicii was 28. He was the producer and DJ responsible for hits like "LE7ELS", "Hey Brother", "Wake Me Up!", "The Days" and "You Make Me."

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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Jesse and Gene Aren't Dead

Gene Valaitis, current morning man on Roundhouse Radio in Vancouver, received some bad news this week when it was announced Roundhouse Radio was shutting down at the end of the month. Back in 1993, Gene and his co-host Jesse Dylan received similar news from 680 CFTR when they were told the station was going all-news. Jesse and Gene were out of a job.

As told on episode 212 of my podcast, they weren't out of work long. AM640 scooped them up instantly. I've just been sent a few ads promoting their new show on AM640: The Beat of Toronto.

1993 AM640 Jesse & Gene Outrageous Contest

1993 AM640 Jesse & Gene poster

Here's a great story from Gary Dunford in the Toronto Sun that suggests 680 quickly went all-news to beat 640 to the punch. That's right, back in 1993 Toronto's newspapers actually covered Toronto radio happenings.

1993-06-03 Dunford

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Watching the Blue Jays on Facebook

The Blue Jays game against the Kansas City Royals is taking place at the dome right now, but it's not on Sportsnet. This game is a Facebook exclusive.

I thought I'd check it out, so I logged into Facebook and searched for "Blue Jays". Lo and behold, there was a link to watch the live feed from the game.

On my laptop, there are these icons that fly up from the bottom on the right side. There's also this live chat on the right that's super annoying. (Update: If you click the icon to go "fullscreen", the icons and chat disappear - and I just discovered "quiet mode" which seems to do the trick.) Here's how the game looked, with those aforementioned icons, when I wasn't "fullscreen" or in "quiet mode".


Luckily, I have Chromecast, and that's how I watch Netflix and CraveTV and YouTube and every other form of streaming video. So I put the game on my TV via Chromecast and the annoying chat and flying icons disappeared. Much better.


Not the most fluid stream, however. It's a little pixelated for my liking, and there's a slight lag now and then. I don't ask for much, but a clear HD image without buffering is rather important. I don't experience the lag when I watch on the laptop, just when I Chromecast it to the big screen.

The commenters aren't great, either. One guy just asked how it is we don't have an ice storm every winter "considering it's minus 100 every day". Of course, this may be because I'm not used to them. They don't really call the game, they just sort of chat while you watch the game. Change of this magnitude can be jarring.

When projected on my TV via Chromecast, the "LIVE 60K" overlay is right over the score chyron, which makes no sense at all. On my laptop, it was in the top left corner, where there's no interference.

It's not awful, but there are some wrinkles to iron out. I certainly wouldn't pay for this experience. Only one more Facebook exclusive game to go.

Go Jays Go!

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Bruno Sammartino, Dead at 82

Bruno SammartinoBruno Sammartino was 82. He was the professional wrestler who held the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship (later known as WWF, then WWE) for over 11 years across two reigns, the first of which is the longest single reign in the promotion's history at 2,803 days. I was enamoured by his feuds with Brutis Beefcake, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in the mid-to-late 80s.

Bruno Sammartino

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