• Dave Bidini holds up a copy of the West End Phoenix, which he founded in response to the disappearance of community newspapers in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Dave Bidini)

On this week’s episode of the Explore Podcast, host David McGuffin interviews Dave Bidini. 

It’s hard to think of a person who has written with more passion about Canada, and in as many different media, as Dave Bidini. You might know him as the songwriter and frontman of the Rheostatics – that most Canadian of Canadian bands — or for his best-selling books On a Cold RoadThe Tropic of HockeyKeon and Me or Midnight Light, or from his award-winning journalism and documentaries, or for his latest endeavour, the West End Phoenix, a community newspaper he founded in Toronto.

The Phoenix is a bold effort to fill the void caused when big newspaper chains started closing down community newspapers. With a focus on great reporting and storytelling, it features guest writers like Margaret Atwood and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. The interview also gets into why the Yellowknifer newspaper in the N.W.T. was the inspiration for the Phoenix, and touches on Dave’s deep love of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a special moment with Wendel Clark, and a possible cause of the Leafs’ decades-long Stanley Cup curse.

New episodes of Explore are released every two weeks on Tuesday. Subscribe on your favourite podcasting platform so you never miss an episode! You can follow Explore on Twitter and Instagram @CanGeo, and host David McGuffin @mcguffindavid on Twitter and @david.mcguffin on Instagram.

If you have any questions or ideas for future segments, you can also reach us by email us at [email protected]ca.

Listen to the full episode below: