After 175 Episodes, I Wanted to Thank a Few People

I just recorded the 175th episode of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. Ron Hawkins, frontman, primary songwriter, lead vocalist, and one of two guitarists for Lowest of the Low, dropped by my home for a 90 minute chat and it was as awesome as I had hoped it would be. I've been a fan of Lowest of the Low since I first heard them on 102.1 in 1991 and I still can't believe Ron took the time to visit.

175 feels like a like a nice round number, and I wanted to thank some people who helped me get here. This passion project has been so incredibly fulfilling, I still can't believe I'm sitting down and conversing with Ron MacLean, Strombo, Matt Galloway, Ashley Buchholz, Ed the Sock and so many others I admire.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of those who helped out along the way.

Humble and Fred

Way back in 2006, Humble and Fred wanted to record a Christmas special, only they had both been fired from their terrestrial radio gig at Mix 999. They had the content covered, but they asked me to help out with the technical aspects of creating a podcast, and on December 17 we recorded The 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show at Dan Duran's house. They produced the MP3 file and I took it from there to ensure fans could hear the festive joy. In 2006, few knew what a podcast was, making this a rather educational experience. It was the very first podcast I ever produced.

A Part of History

We'd meet up a few more times over the years to produce Humble and Fred podcast specials, and then in October 2011, Humble and Fred decided to make a real go of this podcast thing. They started podcasting daily.

Humble and Mike

In those early days, I was at their studio every day for the recording, and held Fred's hand as he learned how to maintain the XML file that powered podcast subscriptions. I'm proud to say they're still producing their podcast almost five years later.

Fred's Wall of Fame

Without this experience, and witnessing the creative content creation process up close, I likely never would have got the itch to try it on my own. One day I decided to start Toronto Mike'd, and Humble and Fred lent me their studio until I built my own.

Rosie

When I did decide to start Toronto Mike'd, I wanted a co-host who would sound great on the air and with whom I had great chemistry. I honestly only thought of one person, my dear friend Rosie.

Rosie and I go back to grade ten when we found ourselves bonding over Mr. Dougherty's english class at Michael Power. She's the only person who attended both my weddings (other than me, of course) and if I was going to podcast, I wanted her sitting beside me.

Wedding

Rosie co-hosted Toronto Mike'd with me through episode 56 and without her there likely never would have been an episode 1. By the way, she gave a speech about me in episode 45 that I would like played at my celebration of life.

Andrew

The first 20 episodes of Toronto Mike'd were recorded at Humble and Fred's studio, but I wanted to take another leap of independence. I wanted to build my own studio in my own home.

It just so happened I had recently met an audio guru who was responsible for what you hear during Blue Jays home games on Sportsnet. His name is Andrew and he was kind enough to help me choose the gear I'd need for my studio. And by "help" I mean he literally told me where to go and what to buy.

It Begins

$1600 later, I had kick-ass mics, proper cables and stands and a mixer. Andrew happily came over to help me put it together. If you think Toronto Mike'd sounds good, there's only one man to thank.

20160204_111823

Episode 21 truly was broadcast from The House That Heaven Built.

Elvis

When I was unable to meet Rosie's salary demands after episode 56, I found myself in need of a new co-host. If I couldn't have Rosie, I knew exactly who I wanted.

Elvis

Elvis has been a great friend for over a decade, and he sounds fantastic on the mic. Since I have absolutely no broadcasting experience and never particularly liked my voice, I felt it was important to surround myself with great voices who knew how to articulate and use a microphone. Throw in a solid dose of chemistry and you've got yourself a co-host.

podcast.jpg-large

To this day, when I feel like recording but don't have an actual guest booked, I turn to Elvis. It's always a blast.

Great Lakes Brewery

As listener numbers rise, I often wonder if I'm leaving money on the table by not properly monetizing Toronto Mike'd. I've been hesitant to seek sponsorship, and only recently introduced the Patreon campaign. But when I received an email from Great Lakes Brewery asking me to visit their facility for a meeting, I curiously biked over and kept a very open mind.

GLB is independent, local and run by good people. This is a company I wanted to partner with, and I was pleased as punch when they signed on for six months. I'm all but certain we'll renew that deal.

20160413_152537

Corporations seem hesitant to sponsor independent podcasts in this country, so it was great to see a company take a gamble on my little podcast. If any companies out there want to follow suit, let me know.

The Guests

At the end of 2013, I knew what I wanted Toronto Mike'd to become. I didn't want it to strictly be "two friends shooting the shit", but wanted to have conversations with a wide variety of interesting Toronto people.

strombo and me

In January 2014, I was visited by Jonathan Torrens, Alan Cross and Todd Shapiro consecutively, and everything crystallized. That was Toronto Mike'd. I truly appreciate everyone who accepted my invitation and took time out of their busy scheduled to visit and chat.

Ron MacLean and Me

Not everyone has said yes, but I'm pleased to report most have and I haven't had a bad experience yet.

Listeners Like You

Sure, it's a little corny, but it's your feedback that fuels this podcast. I really do try to learn from my mistakes, and I like to think it's only getting better.

Toronto Mike'd podcast ranks #3 in iTunes

Thank you for listening, thanks for letting me know when you like what I do, and when you think there's room for improvement. You can leave a comment, send me an email, tweet at me or rent a billboard.

Keep sharing!

And thanks again!


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Comments (38 - click here to join in!)

Rob J

Here's to another 175!

May 25, 2016 @ 4:38 PM

Dan

Just started listening (James Duthie was my first...) but I think it's great. Will go back and listen to your earlier ones. Keep it up!

May 25, 2016 @ 5:01 PM


Warren

This was very helpful for us newbies to catch up. I started listening at #92 when my bud told me I wouldn't believe the Mad Dog convo. It was great.

I've been pretty much listening ever since. It's nice to finally learn the origin story.

Keep on doing what you're doing!

May 25, 2016 @ 5:17 PM

H

It does in fact take a village.

May 25, 2016 @ 6:45 PM

H

Great pod. I always enjoy it, even when I'm not crazy about the guest.

May 25, 2016 @ 6:52 PM

Rick C in Oakville

My liver my give out if I Drink too much of the GLB beer supporting your sponsors!
Great job Mike, just listened to Ron Hawkins while driving towards Banff. Between you and H&F I don't usually have to listen to any terrestrial radio.

May 25, 2016 @ 7:16 PM

David

I have thoroughly enjoyed all your shows. Congrats Mike.

Time to get the scoop from Jennifer Vanlentyne and Gord Martineau in future episodes!

May 25, 2016 @ 7:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Warren
@H
@Rick C in Oakville
@David

Thanks for listening!

Gord Martineau would be a great guest. I have to track him down....

May 25, 2016 @ 7:41 PM

Blind Dave

I am a day one'r and the podcast has flourished into a professionally sounding presentation while maintaining a homey and relaxed atmosphere.

Great job, Mike! I'm glad you still enjoy your hobby.

May 25, 2016 @ 8:03 PM

Handsome Rob

I'll reiterate what H said above, I've often found those guest I wasn't interested in (on paper) the some of the most interesting of your pods.

I've enjoyed almost all of them. Great job Mike and congratulations on your success.

May 25, 2016 @ 9:26 PM

Cambo

Have you tried to get Buck Martinez on your show? I'm in the middle of his book and its great- He'd have some fantastic stories. Maybe Hazel Mae can hook you up?

May 25, 2016 @ 10:35 PM

markosaar

Enjoyed every episode. Got into it, and your site, through meeting Rosie at one of the H&F meets at their studio heh.

May 25, 2016 @ 11:24 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@markosaar, Rosie's a sweetheart!

May 25, 2016 @ 11:42 PM

Joe Clark

...and Ford, for sponsoring your blog, even though you couldn’t be bothered disclosing that.

But beyond that, yes, happy 175th, Mike. Go for a long drive to celebrate.

May 26, 2016 @ 7:26 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Joe Clark

Clearly this is bothering you, as you've commented about it in the past, so for the record allow me to state the difference.

Great Lakes Brewery paid me real cash money to sponsor the podcast.

Ford Canada has never, ever given me a single penny for anything.

I hope that's clear.

May 26, 2016 @ 8:16 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Blind Dave
@Handsome Rob
@Cambo
@markosaar
,
Thanks for listening!

I haven't reached out to Buck Martinez yet, but I will eventually.

The biggest challenge is the scheduling. I really only have time to record once a week, and it can be tough to map it out exactly right, so I try to only extend a handful of invitations at once.

May 26, 2016 @ 8:33 AM

Sam in Pickering

I want to thank one more person.....

YOU!

May 26, 2016 @ 9:07 AM

Al The Royal Pain

I've been listening to podcasts for at least 10 years. My list of regulars that I listen to has changed frequently during that time...but at no point have I ever considered removing this one.

I've always thought that I'd like to try podcasting, and when you helped start H&F's I listened with much interest, not so much the content, but the process they went through. When you began this one, I immediately added it to my subscriptions. H&F's has since been dropped, mostly for time.

We're about the same age and have similar interests and that's probably why I still listen...because you're doing want I want to do...but you're doing it really well and so I applaud you and keep listening.

May 26, 2016 @ 9:25 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Sam in Pickering
@Al The Royal Pain

Thanks!

May 26, 2016 @ 10:14 AM

Derek

Congrats Mike! It is a pleasure to listen to your podcasts and I really enjoyed the experience of being your 165th guest. Keep 'em coming!

D

May 26, 2016 @ 10:46 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Derek

You never forget your 165th!

Thanks for listening. And go Argos!

May 26, 2016 @ 10:49 AM

James Edgar

Mike I'm with most of your listeners and want to thank you. It took me a while to get into listening but thanks to you i'm not just enjoying your conversations but some other casts as well .

Kudos to a job very well done.

And I'll continue to support you by imbibing the fine products of GLB

May 26, 2016 @ 10:52 AM

Elephant

175 is a ton of podcasts. A lot of people pack it in long before that, but this one is still going strong. The Dave Marsden episode is a personal favourite.

Congrats on all the great work so far.

May 26, 2016 @ 10:55 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Elephant

Thanks for listening!

@James Edgar

Thanks for just now becoming a Patron! That's awesome...

May 26, 2016 @ 10:56 AM

The Voice of Reason

Congrats Mike.

You did forget to thank your wife though.

May 26, 2016 @ 11:50 AM

Andrew

Mike,

Thank you for the nice comments. I really appreciate that. It's been a great, fun journey following your progression over the past few years.

You know I am always here to offer advice and guidance when it comes to the sound of your podcast.

Thank you to all the listeners over the past few years who have left commmets thanking me for the work I do for Mike.

As for the guy who thinks Mike takes money from Ford or anyone else - well, I know for a fact that Mike doesn't take money from the car company- I've got inside info on that.

Congrats again Mike. I'm leaving Jamaica today and can't wait to listen to Ron's chat. I got to the know the band in their early days when I worked at CFNY and was going to school at Ryerson and would book the band for shows.

Congrats on 175 Mike. Can't wait for the next 175.

Cheers,
Andrew

May 26, 2016 @ 12:32 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Voice of Reason

I did say it was non-exhaustive. :)

May 26, 2016 @ 1:19 PM

Pete

Congrats Mike. I ventured my way over here not too long ago, but have gone through some of the older podcasts which are always a good listen.

I have to admit though, with the rapport and clout you have with all these media types, I'm surprised no one has gotten you some sort of foot in the industry.

May 26, 2016 @ 1:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Pete

I've never even had a nibble from the industry. Of course, I've never applied for anything in the industry, either.

Thanks for listening!

May 26, 2016 @ 1:43 PM

thedewover

Keep up the great work Mike! Here's to the next 175!!!

May 26, 2016 @ 3:16 PM

Ken

Mike, you do a great job with your podcast and I enjoy all the varied guests you have.

I look forward to what you have planned in the future.

Always a pleasure

May 26, 2016 @ 5:16 PM

dale

Mike great podcasts as heard many.

Lost a lot of respect for Simmons today with comments about Raptors (Large dinosaur at home games& Barney away games).
Seeing other comments from Raptor players "it's a time change thing", there is NO TIME CHANGE from Cleveland & Jurassic Park - Eastern Time zone.

Keep up the good work with keeping all of us entertained overall as always.

May 26, 2016 @ 7:50 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Keep up the great work Mike. Your podcast has definitely evolved, but hey as you said you're still learning, but I think you've got this now. I really like the fact that you're providing a relaxed setting, kinda like a home environment. I also like the fact that guest are a bit more open and talk about stuff that you wouldn't hear in a normal interview.


May 26, 2016 @ 10:41 PM

Dave

Did you know that Morley Safer (60 minutes) had his funeral and burial in Toronto?

http://www.benjaminsparkmemorialchapel.ca/ServiceDetails.aspx?snum=132565&fg=0

May 27, 2016 @ 12:57 PM

elvis

Thanks for the opportunity Mike. It's been a fun ride. Looking forward to more.

May 28, 2016 @ 1:41 PM

fourteen

Which one is Elvis?

May 30, 2016 @ 5:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@fourteen

The guy in blue jeans and a red hat.

He's lost a lot of weight since I took that pic.

May 30, 2016 @ 5:41 PM

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