Doughnuts and vaccines for the Toronto Star and some history in The Grid

In a big life decision, I decided to quit my full-time iPolitics gig and go back to full-time freelance. There are a few reasons for the move, mainly wanting to do more writing, get creative and explore some of my own projects again.

Though the move to give up regular pay cheques an go entirely freelance is a bit scarey, it’s been working well for me so far. The week I started, I filed a couple stories for the Toronto Star and a short story in The Grid. I also took off for a work-cation to Arizona, where I reported on the February Republican primary debate, visited my snowbird mom, and worked on a travel story about hiking in the desert, which will run at a later date. More on that here.

Back to Toronto, where my favourite Star piece was about the trend of upscale doughnuts coming to Canada, and Toronto in particular.

The move to delicious doughnuts is starting with Glory Hole Doughnuts, the project of owner and pastry chef Ashley Jacot De Boinod, whose upscale doughnuts and quirky name are causing a food blogger buzz in Toronto. When I started poking into the jellied centre of the upscale doughnut industry, I found that the owners at Jelly Modern in Calgary and Doughnut Plant in New York City are also eying Toronto for possible expansion. I do love it when I find some tasty news tidbits in a lifestyle story and my gluttonous side can only hope that these shops, and Glory Hole, find storefronts in Toronto soon.

On the same day, my story about adult vaccines ran in the Star. This story idea came from my own experience, as stories often do. I went for some routine blood work last month and the doctor told me that the measles antibodies in my blood were low. I was vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella shot as a child, but apparently you need two vaccines to ensure full immunity, something doctors didn’t realize until the late ’90s. Being a child of the ’80s, I missed the second vaccine and lost my immunity to the virus over time.

When the doctor explained the details I thought two things: 1. Science is cool 2. That sounds like a health story for the Star Life section.

The third story was my first for The Grid. Though it was a short one, it took a lot of research into the history of one of the old buildings in my neighbourhood that has been—in the last 100 years—a hotel for rail passengers, a disco nightclub, a rooming house and a men’s shelter. It was a lot of research for fewer than 200 words, but it yielded some other good story ideas about Toronto history that I hope to tell you about as soon as an editor pays me to write them.

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