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Michael Atkins

Sault Ste. Marie: another visionary 100 years later

Sault Ste. Marie: another visionary 100 years later

I bought my first denim grocery bag the other day in Sault Ste. Marie. Not only does it match my jeans and carry vegetables and my favourite Häagen-Dazs peanut butter ice cream, it has a pocket on the outside for car keys.
Will it be apple fritters or just frittering?

Will it be apple fritters or just frittering?

I still think about apple fritters. Actually, whenever I drive by a Timmy’s I think of them and find my mouth watering at the thought. They are wonderful.
From the riverboat to the Brenda Wallace Reading Room

From the riverboat to the Brenda Wallace Reading Room

When I was in my teens in the 1960s, I used to steal away from Don Mills, Canada’s first completely planned and boring community, and go downtown to Yorkville in Toronto where something really seemed to be happening.
A trip down memory lane: an island

A trip down memory lane: an island

It’s been a long time since I took a little time out waiting for the old swing bridge at Little Current, Manitoulin Island to grant me access to this fantastic “largest freshwater lake island in the world.
Occasionally you have to pay for what you need

Occasionally you have to pay for what you need

It was a modest start, but my fabulous career at the CBC began at the old Parliament Street radio studio in Toronto where each Friday night the Nimmons “N” Nine Jazz Trio played a fantastic live jazz concert.
From Olympic grandeur to fish hut ingenuity

From Olympic grandeur to fish hut ingenuity

A couple of weeks ago the Laurentian School of Architecture held an auction; for fish huts. I can’t tell you much about it because as of this writing it hasn’t actually happened.
Santa Claus was not amused

Santa Claus was not amused

As I watch the January spring rain pelt the window pane it is hard to imagine just two weeks ago there was a good-sized tree sitting on the back of my car, electrical wires down at both ends of the street and Santa’s milk and cookies only half eaten.
Finding the focus for a new year

Finding the focus for a new year

I have been extraordinarily lucky. When I was 22 years old I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. When I was 23 years old, I fell into a journalistic job in Thunder Bay and knew that was it.
Why it is not just about Pamela, Mike and Rob

Why it is not just about Pamela, Mike and Rob

It’s hard to avoid the question of Rob Ford wherever you live in this country. He brings a larger than life “wince” seldom achieved in this highly contested category of public service. He can take you from rage to compassion in an afternoon.
Biking to the top in North Bay

Biking to the top in North Bay

Around 1965 I travelled to North Bay for the first time. Actually, I hitchhiked from Burk’s Falls to North Bay to visit a friend of mine from camp. His name was Barry Pond and we were councillors at a now long-defunct boys’ camp called Big Doe Camp.